Considering the Environmental Impact of Proposed Expansion


We all know that new businesses and increased operations will bring a positive economic impact to a region. The environmental impact data in IMPLAN can now shed light on the associated impacts to our environment including everything from greenhouse gas emissions to toxic chemical releases.



Let’s take a look at an example where there is a potential to increase the Employment and Output in electricity transmission and distribution in the city of Buffalo, NY, on the shores of Lake Erie. In 2019, there were over 600 employees and $840M in Output in Industry 47 - Electric power transmission and distribution. In our example, let’s say there is the potential to increase the employment to 1,000 and the Output to $1.3M. Great right? Almost 400 new Direct jobs and $500M in new Direct Output! But, what if the city has set a limit on water usage associated with the power transmission and distribution firm’s operations of 1.5B cubic meters? 

First let’s take a look at the economic impact. This example would increase the Output by $521,985,019 and Employment by 383 in Erie County, NY using the 2019 Data Year. This gives us a total economic impact of 738 jobs, $91M in Labor Income, $275M in Value Added, and $594M in Output.


The Industry is currently responsible for 1.2B cubic meters of water use. This new expansion would yield an additional 712M cubic meters of Direct water use, with $25M in Indirect water use, and 830,000 cubic meters of Induced water use; a total of 739B cubic meters of water use.

This potential expansion would make the Industry responsible for 1.9B cubic meters; which would be a clear violation of the policy of a firm level cap of 1.5B cubic meters. Sounds like they need to talk to the city before moving forward with the project.



Environmental Data in IMPLAN


Written July 16, 2021