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'Modest' results for Danish waste water tax

A cost-benefit analysis of Denmark's "wastewater tax", levied on discharges of nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter by waste water treatment plants, industry, and some rural buildings, suggests its environment benefits have been "relatively modest" at best. "Very few wastewater treatment plants and separate industrial dischargers have reacted to the tax," says the analysis, though some have achieved big reductions in emissions and therefore taxes. However, the study only covers the first four years of the tax's existence, from 1997-2000, and "it takes a long time for the effect...to show". See environment ministry newsletter and report (includes English summary).

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