Assoc. Prof. Mary Evans Awarded Haynes Foundation Grant

The John Randolph Haynes and the Dora Haynes Foundation has awarded Claremont McKenna professor Mary Evans a grant totaling more than $100,000 in support of her research project, “The Governance of Water Pollution Dischargers in Los Angeles: Evaluating the Effectiveness of a New Enforcement Strategy.”

Evans is the Jerrine and Thomas Mitchell ’66 Associate Professor of Environmental Economics and George R. Roberts Fellow at CMC’s Robert Day School of Economics and Finance. She is an expert in the area of environmental and resource economics and policy. The John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation awards up to $3 million in grants and scholarships annually, encouraging research into underlying causes of social problems in Los Angeles, and ways of addressing them.

Over the next two years, Evans–– with collaborator Professor J.R. DeShazo at UCLA–– will examine the effectiveness of a statewide change in the regulatory treatment of water quality dischargers on the behavior of facilities in the Los Angeles region. The particular policy change, passed by the state legislature in 2000, requires all regional water quality regulators to issue a mandatory minimum penalty to facilities for certain violations of their waste-water discharge permits. Prior to this change, regional water quality regulators had more discretion in the issuance of penalties.

Evans says the research will explore:

• whether facilities that received a minimum penalty from the Los Angeles or Santa Ana water quality control boards in response to a violation actually reduced their future water pollution violations.

• if different types of facilities (e.g., publicly-owned versus privately-owned treatment plants) were more responsive to this new regulatory approach than others and, if so, why?

• the potential, unintended consequences of this approach that may have weakened the regional water pollution governance system.

“Some water-quality advocates have expressed concern that the regional boards may have modified discharge permits, or issued other orders, so that fewer violations would be subject to the mandatory minimum penalties,” Evans says.

The project goal will hopefully lead to improved governance of water pollution dischargers in the Los Angeles region, and ultimately to better water quality, Evans says.

About the Haynes Foundation

Established in 1926 by a prominent, reform-minded physician and his suffragist wife, the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation is a leading supporter of social science research for Los Angeles. It is also the oldest private foundation in the city.
Over the years, the Foundation has funded hundreds of important urban studies in the areas of education, transportation, local government, elections, public safety, demographics, public personal services and natural resources. In doing so, the Foundation has remained true to its founder's philosophy of promoting "the social betterment of mankind."

About Claremont McKenna College

Claremont McKenna College, established in 1946, CMC excels in preparing students for responsible leadership through the liberal arts in business, the professions and public affairs. The College is home to more than 130 accomplished teacher-scholars who are dedicated to teaching and to offering unparalleled opportunities for student collaboration in the research process. Enrolling approximately 1,200 students, the College combines highly-selective need-blind admission, innovative programs, a 9-to-1 student-faculty ratio, ten research institutes, the impact of the seven-member Claremont College Consortium, and a strong and committed network of alumni, to educate its graduates for a lifetime of leadership.