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Using Databases to Link and Enhance Socio-Economic Assessments of Source Control Strategies

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Emissions, fate and impact of pollutants are classical example of complex, dynamic system which involves different stakeholders as well as natural processes. To describe and manage such a system it is necessary to manage in sufficient detail the natural processes (physical, chemical, biological processes), as well as the economic and legal environment that provides the anthropogenic framework of the system. The conceptual integrative framework for the integration of different perspectives on the described system was developed within SCOREPP project ( Among other perspectives also the economic perspective was addressed in integrative manner.

The key point of integration was the concept of dimensionality of the system, which is dominated by three perspectives:

technical ‐ including all perspectives related to all natural processes – physical, chemical, biological, mechanical etc. on different levels and scales;

economic ‐ including all perspectives related to economics and finance on different levels and scales;

legal ‐ including all perspectives related to legal framework: national, bilateral, multinational, both on the level of generic legal acts as well as on the level of subject directed legal acts;

The governing mechanism of the integration is provided by the management of common dimensions and classifications. In the case of the management of priority pollutants the key integrative classification structure was determined by CAS classification of chemical substances, NACE classification of economic activities and NOSE-P classification of emission processes. The developed classification structure corresponds to the US-EPA source classification codes (SCC). The SCC structure is not directly applicable in the European Union, because of the difference in the applied classifications of industrial activities and difference in the classification of the sources of emissions. Work devoted to the management of the classifications resulted in the homogeneous data structure, capable of managing all necessary information related to the management of priority pollutants – above all their sources, emissions, treatment and applied limitations (technological and legal). Developed database is enabling unified maintenance of the applied perspectives. Moreover it enables an additive approach providing well structured adding up of additional data and information.

An important classification structure applied in the concept of the database is the concept of the classifications applied in the System of National Accounts 95' (SNA 95'), which is the macroeconomic (ME) accounting framework for the European Union countries.

The socio-economic assessment is therefore based on the well structured information on the:

Emission strings Identified processes related to the sources of priority pollutants, which identify the potential emission sources of priority pollutants;

Emission types – spatial type structures related to the emissions of priority pollutants (i.e. industrial facilities, roads, urban green areas, households);

Adaptation matrix which for given areas evaluate actual level of emissions of priority pollutants – using emission factors;

Emission barriers – identified barriers which as a result contribute to the emission reduction (treatment facilities as well as legal instruments – i.e. ban), for the emission barriers their efficiency and costs are evaluated.

Emission control strategies – scenarios of different applied emission barriers on different priority pollutants (according to their CAS) and according to different Emission types.

Because of the overall harmonized classification structure and especially due to the harmonization with the SNA 95' it is possible to assess the applied scenarios of different emission control strategies on the closed macroeconomic area. For this purpose the 20- sectorial model of global equilibrium was selected, which is generally used macroeconomic model developed for the macroeconomic analysis of different scenario analysis. Future work will be focused on the implementation of PP emission control strategies into the real ME model of selected country. The expected results will show response of the macroeconomic general equilibrium model to different emission control strategies in the following ways:

Extremely difficult adaptation of some sectors to emission controls (zero emissions) – i.e. nickel, and lead;

Potential transfer of some production processes (and emissions) to the countries with less stringent environmental legislation (focus on products, less services);

Potential growth of specific industrial sectors providing monitoring and treatment of priority pollutants;

Decreased competitiveness of specific sectors on global markets and foreign trade/producers which are not affected by emission control strategies; possible applications of green customs as a quite unrealistic result;

Investment requirements for specific sectors (i.e. for new treatment facilities) which will in turn transfer these costs to final consumers, or become less competitive in relations to export/import of related products/services;

Shift to different practice of consumers based on the adaptation of demand (flexibility of demand).

Keywords: data management; economic assesment; priority pollutants

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-01-01

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