ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY CONTEXT
Historically, the U.S. environmental regulatory system has consisted of many federal, state, and local statutes and standards that were developed piecemeal to address a variety of environmental problems involving independent media, such as air, water, and hazardous waste. This system has also emphasized command-and-control approaches to addressing industrial pollution at the end of the pipe, after it has been produced. Over the last 25 years, this system of statutes has been very effective at improving environmental quality throughout the United States.
However, some environmental problems are worsening; continuing to make improvements in environmental quality and addressing new environmental threats in the future will require new approaches (President's Council on Sustainable Development [PCSD], 1996b, p. 26; Aspen Institute, 1996). Also, this fragmented command-andcontrol regulatory system has created a series of uncoordinated programs that focus on single media and have different standards, administrative requirements, and implementation practices. This regulatory structure has often resulted in inefficiencies in the implementation of such programs, in terms of the effects both on the regulated community and on public environmental quality. Currently, federal, state, and local governments are trying to address such problems by developing new and more-integrated and systems approaches to environmental performance.
This chapter describes three of the major trends within this new environmental policy context: the expanding role of state and local governments, proactive environmental performance based on col-