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Economic evaluation of draft Directive on incineration of non-dangerous waste

The European Commission, DG XI, has published an open invitation to tender for the economic evaluation of a draft Directive on the incineration of non-dangerous waste. With a view to increasing the level of environmental protection in Europe, the European Commission is consid...

The European Commission, DG XI, has published an open invitation to tender for the economic evaluation of a draft Directive on the incineration of non-dangerous waste. With a view to increasing the level of environmental protection in Europe, the European Commission is considering introducing a number of modifications to its directives on the incineration of municipal waste (Directives 89/369/EEC and 89/429/EEC). These essentially concern the setting of new procedures and stricter limit values for emissions. It is a requirement, under the Treaty on European Union, that the "potential benefits and costs of action and lack of action" (art. 130r) be taken into account. The objective of the study is, therefore, to submit a quantitative assessment of the environmental and economic costs and benefits related to the new standards which would be introduced by these modifications. The economic evaluation of the costs and benefits of introducing more stringent emission standards for the incineration of non-dangerous waste, needs to be undertaken in two related exercises: - Cost-effectiveness analysis based on estimates of the amount of pollutant emissions reduced in the three environmental media (air, land and water) per unit cost. This exercise should be undertaken for six alternative technological control options for the incineration of non-dangerous waste. Costs in this exercise are the investment, operating and maintenance costs of retrofitting those incinerators already in conformity with Directives 89/369 and 89/429 (i.e. the baseline) as well as those incinerators related to the alternative options for emissions control. These costs have to be assessed for, at least, eight different plant capacities (ranging from 25 000 T/year to 900 000 T/year). The control costs envisaged must be accompanied by clear indications as to the basis of the data, the location, the performances, the technology and the scale of each plant studied. The representativeness at a European level of the case studies chosen must also be proven. The cost-effectiveness analysis should also estimate the emission reductions (to air, water and the leachate from the generated residues) associated to each of the six control options; - Costs-benefit analysis estimating all social costs, not only private costs, of each control option and comparing these with the benefits derived from the reduction in pollution. These benefits should be measured in terms of the reduced health and welfare damage resulting from the reduction in pollutant emissions. The study will include a comprehensive inventory of the environmental burdens for all the options, taking into account atmospheric emissions, water emissions and solid waste production. The inventory will include information concerning the origin of data, the underlying assumptions and the ranges of uncertainty. The study will attempt to estimate, or construct, an environmental damage function based on the links between emissions, concentration, exposure, and health and welfare damage. The study will estimate the damage costs of air pollution of some of the pollutants released from municipal solid waste combustion and at least of those for which damage functions are available (NOX, SO2, CO2, dust and, if possible, dioxins and heavy metals). The final step is to assign a monetary value to the physical damage estimated. The consultant must clearly specify all the underlying assumptions taken to derive the damage estimates. For both the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses, the study should compare the impact of each of the six control options analyzed, action taken, against the no-action scenario whereby environmental regulation remains as it currently is. The countries to be analysed in the study should be representative of the EU Member States. Two criteria for selection are: - The extent of usage of incineration plants for waste management; - The magnitude of environmental improvement to be achieved by means of the more stringent standards. The analysis should cover a period of 20 years from the year 2000. This will require the use of estimates for population, population density, economic activity growth and any other factors which will help determine the volume of waste to be incinerated as well as the incineration capacity needed. Requests for tender documentation should be sent to: European Commission DGXI/A Mr. B. Sinnott 200 rue de la Loi (BU5 3/167) B-1049 Brussels Fax +32-2-2994449 Tenders should be submitted to the same address.