1st Edition

Pollution Control in United States
Evaluating the System

ISBN 9780915707881
Published March 5, 1998 by Routledge
336 Pages

USD $49.95

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Book Description

Pollution control, a key component of U.S. environmental policy, has made important progress in recent decades. Yet important problems remain and there is need for improvement in the pollution control regulatory system. This book is the most extensive evaluation of that system ever produced. It reveals many strengths and accomplishments, but also illustrates serious shortcomings and the need for reform. The volume emerges from three years of research on a fragmented 'system' of institutions, statutes, and procedures that is often inefficient and ineffective, hobbled by misplaced priorities. Part I provides an in-depth description of this system, centered on the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the labyrinthine laws it must implement. The authors evaluate the federal legislation, administrative decisionmaking, and the state-federal division of labor that defines the system. Davies and Mazurek assess the effectiveness and efficiency of U.S. pollution control. They discuss the performance of U.S. laws and regulations in comparison with those of other nations, assess the ability of the U.S. pollution control system to meet future problems, and consider proposals for reform and repair. Within this far reaching analysis, they include criteria that are often overlooked by policymakers and analysts, including social values, equity, nonintrusiveness, and public participation.

Table of Contents

Foreword Paul R. Portney Preface J. Clarence Davies and Jan Mazurek 1. Introduction The Need for Evaluation The Pollution Control Regulatory System Criteria for Evaluation Structure of the Book References PART I: EVALUATING THE PROCESS 2. Federal Legislation Description History Command and Control Fragmentation Overlaps and Inconsistencies Disparity between Resources and Responsibility Court Review of EPA Decisions References 3. Administrative Decisionmaking Scope and Limitations Use of Scientific Information Risk Assessment and Comparative Risk Economic Analysis Fragmentation within EPA Absence of Feedback and Evaluation Roles of OMB, OSTP, and CEQ References 4 The Federal-State Division of Labor Evolution of Federal-State Responsibilities Current State Capabilities Criteria for Division of Labor Unfunded Mandates References PART II: EVALUATING THE REGULATORY SYSTEM 5. Reducing Pollution Levels Overview Air Pollution Water Pollution Municipal Solid Waste Hazardous Waste Toxics Pesticides Regulatory system and Pollution Levels Conclusion References 6. Targeting the Most Important Problems The Need to Set Priorities Priorities Total Cost of Pollution Control to EPA Methods for Evaluating EPA's Priorities Evaluating EPA‘s Priorities References 7. Efficiency Economics and Environmental Protection Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act Cost-effectiveness of Pollution Control Regulations Macroeconomic Effects Conclusions References 8. Social Values Public Involvement Nonintrusiveness Environmental Justice Other Social Values Conclusions References 9. Comparison with Other Countries Pollution Levels Pollution Control Provisions and Implementation Control Measures: Waste and Toxics Integrated Pollution Control International Competitiveness and Trade Summary References 10. Ability to Meet Future Problems Forecasting and Uncertainty Air Pollution Water Pollution Municipal Solid Waste Hazardous Waste Heavy Metals New Items on the Agenda Summary Endnotes

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J. Clarence Davies is a senior fellow at Resources for the Future. He is a former assistant administrator for policy with the U.S. EPA and has published widely on environmental issues. Jan Mazurek is a former researcher with CRM and author of Making Microchips: Policy, Globalization, and Economic Restructuring in the Semi-conductor Industry.Mazurek was a researcher at the center.


'An illuminating study that should be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in environmental policy.' Howard Kunreuther, University of Pennsylvania