I review the data on costs and benefits of the major environmental laws passed during the 1970s. The winners in terms of benefit-cost analysis include: getting lead out of gasoline; controlling particulate air pollution; reducing the concentration of lead in drinking water; and the cleanup of hazardous waste sites with the lowest cost per cancer case avoided under Superfund The losers include: mobile source air pollution control; water pollution control; and many of the regulations and cleanup decisions taken under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and Superfund.
Freeman, A Myrick III.
"Environmental Policy Since Earth Day I: What Have We Gained?"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,