Water contamination and land prices in a mountainous landscape

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Water contamination and land prices in a mountainous landscape

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Title: Water contamination and land prices in a mountainous landscape
Author: Chamblee, John F.; Dehring, Carolyn A.; Depken, Craig A., II; Nicholson, Joseph R.
Abstract: In a mountainous terrain surface water contamination relates to stream flow and topography, while shallow and deep groundwater contamination flow depends on fissures in bedrock which can only be detected and predicted using a variety of complex methods. Using data from western North Carolina, we examine how the risk of offsite water contamination from an inactive hazardous waste site is capitalized into local property values. Offsite surface and groundwater contamination took place over a 12-year period until the site was eventually placed on the National Priority List. Our findings suggest that shallow groundwater contamination risk is capitalized into land prices but that deep groundwater threats are not. This last result suggests that better information concerning potential deep groundwater contamination flow might be necessary. Finally, the length of time between the end of on-site contamination and the detection of off-site contamination was longer than the statute of repose in North Carolina, suggesting that in a mountainous terrain the current statute's horizon may be too short.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10724/36431
Date: 2014-04


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