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Costs of possible environmental protection measures

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published an invitation to tender concerning guidelines for data collection on the costs of possible environmental protection measures.

The EEA provides European policy-makers and the public with reliable, objective and comparable information about the state of the environment. Existing data collections on the costs of environmental protection measures are difficult to compare and aggregate, and therefore are of limited value at European level. To respond to this, the EEA's 1997 work programme includes the development of guidelines on data collection.

In the spring of 1997 the Agency executed a scoping study on the possibilities for guidelines development in this area. The scoping study identified the main players in this field, being managers of databases with cost data and main users at the European level. Furthermore, the scoping study identified a long list of "issues" for which guidelines were needed. Finally the scoping study identified the existing guidelines for collecting information on costs of environmental protection guidelines and compared these with the identified "issues for guideline development".

The following issues for guideline development were listed:

- Cost data: documentation to be provided with the available data; details of cost components; apportioning costs to more than one pollutant or impact; additional cost of environmental protection measures retrofitted to existing processes; variations in cost data with location; uncertainties with standardization and with cost-effectiveness terminology;
- Handling of cost data: base year for costs data; changes in cost of environmental protection measures with time; baseline scenario; uncertainties related to annualized costs; discount and interest rates; uncertainties in methodologies;
- Source sectors to which environmental protection measures are applied: details of pollution source; source sector classifications;
- Environmental protection measures: definition of environmental protection measures; applicability of environmental protection measures; performance characteristics (e.g. effectiveness) of environmental protection measures and how they change with time; existing environmental protection measures - future/developing technologies; lifetime of environmental protection measures;
- Pollutants: uncertainty in emission estimates; definitions of pollutants.

The agency is now seeking tenders for the completion of the "Guidelines for data collection on costs of environmental protection measures". The following activities should be executed:

- Study the results achieved in the scoping study and the existing guidelines;
- Write clear proposals for the "easy" and already well-defined guidelines;
- Execute a number of specific studies on current practices (as specified in the tender documents), which are needed to develop the guidelines concerned;
- Organize a consultation process for the guidelines that involve a political component;
- Organize a consultation process on the guidelines as a whole;
- Organize a workshop for relevant database managers and other stakeholders to discuss the final result.

The contract should be completed within 12 months.
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