Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=982929
 
 

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Political Externalities, Federalism, and a Proposal for an Interstate Environmental Impact Assessment Policy


Noah D. Hall


Wayne State University Law School


Harvard Environmental Law Review, Vol. 32, p. 49, 2008
Wayne State University Law School Research Paper No. 07-20

Abstract:     
Interstate environmental harms, which occur when decisions or actions in one state produce negative environmental impacts in another state, have challenged environmental law and American federalism for over a century. While even the strongest advocates of state primacy in environmental policy concede that interstate environmental harms necessitate federal governance, federal adjudication and regulation have done little to address the problem. This is due, in part, to a failure to fully understand the causes of interstate environmental harms. This article provides a new framework for understanding interstate environmental harms as political externalities caused by a combination of inadequate information, public process bias, and traditional economic externalities. To address these causes, this article proposes a new state-based approach termed interstate environmental impact assessment. Interstate environmental impact assessment would provide a procedural mechanism for an affected state and its citizens to influence the source state and minimize or prevent interstate environmental harms. The process itself would address the causes of the political externality, and also produce information to improve federal adjudication and regulation when disputes arise over continuing harms.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 46

Keywords: political externalities, federalism, interstate environmental harms, transboundary pollution, environmental impact assessment, interstate nuisance

JEL Classification: Q2, Q20, Q25, Q28, Q29, K23, K32

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Date posted: April 30, 2007 ; Last revised: May 12, 2008

Suggested Citation

Hall, Noah D., Political Externalities, Federalism, and a Proposal for an Interstate Environmental Impact Assessment Policy. Harvard Environmental Law Review, Vol. 32, p. 49, 2008; Wayne State University Law School Research Paper No. 07-20. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=982929

Contact Information

Noah D. Hall (Contact Author)
Wayne State University Law School ( email )
471 Palmer
Detroit, MI 48202
United States
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