Enforcement of Environmental Charges: Some Economic Aspects and Evidence from the German Waste Water Charge
Enforcement problems are usually analysed with respect to command-and-control measures of environmental regulation. This chapter presents the economic theory assessments of enforcement process. It focuses on the practical experience made with the enforcement of the German Waste Water Charge. The economic theory of enforcement assumes there are individuals oriented by self-interests who strive to make compliance with, and implementation of, an environmental policy programme conditional on whether this would be in their own interests. Thus, both compliance with norms and their violation are likely outcomes of such individual weighing. Contravention of the legal system can be expected whenever the potential benefits of contravention exceed the costs considered acceptable. The enforcement of the Abwag is primarily the responsibility of the Lander. As the Federal Government, bound by the constitution, is endowed only with a legislative skeleton competency, this must first be fleshed out and supplemented by corresponding water legislation of the Lander.