Environmental Mandates: The Impact on Local Government

By Pompili, Michael J. | Journal of Environmental Health, January-February 1995 | Go to article overview

Environmental Mandates: The Impact on Local Government


Pompili, Michael J., Journal of Environmental Health


Introduction

The increasing role of the federal government within environmental protection activities over the last 20-plus years has resulted in substantial improvement in the overall quality of the United States environment. As stated recently by the President's Council on Environmental Quality, "Perhaps the greatest progress has been made in controlling air and water pollution where concentrations of many pollutants are showing measurable decline. Emissions of total suspended particulates, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and lead from various sources have been reduced in the past decade as a result of pollution controls. Concentrations of suspended solids, oxygen-demanding wastes, and phosphorus are declining in many waterways. There has been a marked reduction in environmental levels of DDT and other persistent organchlorine pesticides; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB); vinyl chloride; benzene; asbestos; and mercury, lead, and other heavy metals. Concentrations of these and other chemicals in human and wildlife tissues have also declined. Although pollutant loads are being reduced, they are being dispersed over long distances and deposited hundreds of miles away from the source" (1).

To further document this improvement, consider the results made in regards to the Clean Air Act of 1970, where the national standards for the six primary air pollutants achieved that as displayed in Table 1.

Environmental improvement has been realized through concerted efforts of all levels of government and the private sector and were principally achieved through an environmental "command and control" policy. Such a policy specifies the type of pollution control technology and limits the pollutants discharged. In the 1970s and very early 1980s, the impact of such policy on local and state governments and their taxpayers was minimal because a large percentage of the additional costs borne by the state and local governments was reimbursed by the federal government (either by financial incentives and/or outright grants). No similar federal assistance was provided to the private sector for their requirements.

"Command and control" environmental policy is cost effective where large point sources are the major polluters. However, the cost benefit of this approach is questionable, especially as more and more reduction is desired. The latter is especially true when the control technologies utilized are incorporated into a "one size fits all" control, often developed for use in mountainous areas of the west as well as swamps in the southeastern part of the United States. Uniform "command and control" systems do not allow for flexibility by local communities to achieve the most environmental benefit for the expenditure of their limited tax dollars.

The remainder of this article explains the significant changes in relationship that has occurred between the local, state, and federal levels of governments in the area of environmental regulation and analyzes the possible ramifications for local governments in the future if this relationship continues.

Changing Federal/Local Government Relationship

Significant changes are occurring in the relationship between the federal, state, and local government bodies. To understand these changes, it is important to look at the evolving regulatory and funding patterns of the federal government as they impact state and local governments.

The first major area to examine the changing role of the federal government is in the area of preemptions of state and local laws and regulations. The roles of all levels of government were initially established by the Constitution of the United States and was further reinforced by the Tenth Amendment, which states that the powers not explicitly given to the federal government were reserved to the states or to the people.

Table 1. National Standards for the Six Primary Air Pollutants. … 

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Environmental Mandates: The Impact on Local Government
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.