sionmaking. Finally, local and regional governments in the United States are not only adapting to changes in the wider policy environment, they are also becoming involved in areas of public policy in which the states and the federal government have had great difficulty in formulating solutions to public policy problems.
In the preceding discussion we have examined the role of substate governments in environmental management and identified some of the states in which they are most active in the area of environmental regulation. We have also identified some of the more important intergovernmental factors that influence state choices concerning the use of local and regional governments in the area of environmental regulation. The most important inducements have been federal legislation that encouraged local government participation in states' efforts to meet federal goals, and the political, administrative, and technical support that entities such as SEMCOG bring to bear in assisting states in solving environmental problems. Finally, we have given reasons why regional, county, and municipal governments will become even more important to state environmental management in the future. These reasons include the ability to adapt to the changing political environment; to become an important avenue of citizen access to government in policies affecting environmental quality; to coordinate a variety of policies and programs involving local service delivery; and to balance the tendency of state governments toward regulatory relief against the demands of citizens for effective environmental protection. Clearly, our understanding of environmental regulation is enhanced by the realization that this area of concern occurs within an intergovernmental context involving federal, state, regional, county, and municipal governments.