Out of Focus
Environmental Forum, p. 24, November/December 1996
11 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2013
Date Written: 1996
This article analyzes similarities and differences in the lists of regulated toxic and hazardous pollutants under five statutes the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the consequences of those choices.
The article first provides a comparative analysis of the five lists, highlighting the extent of the inconsistencies in their coverage. The article then analyzes the development of all five lists to show that policy grounds fail to explain or justify the inconsistencies in coverage. Inconsistencies in the lists limit the practical effectiveness of environmental protection and occupational health laws. The article concludes with a legislative proposal to address the problem. By focusing directly on pollutants and pollutant reductions, and by requiring more complete information about pollutants, Congress could, at a greatly reduced cost, better protect human health and the environment.
Keywords: environmental law, pollution prevention, risk assessment, risk management, regulation, pollution control, toxics, toxic chemicals, hazardous, environmental regulation, toxics release inventory, EPCRA
JEL Classification: K32, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation