Federalism, Delegated Permitting, and Enforcement
Decision Making in Environmental Law, Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law (Leroy C. Paddock, Robert L. Glicksman & Nicholas S. Bryner, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing 2016)
13 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2016 Last revised: 17 May 2018
Date Written: 2016
A common policy question confronting federal systems is how best to apportion environmental regulatory authority between the federal government and states. While that power could theoretically be committed exclusively to one level of government, a common approach is a system of shared regulatory authority, often referred to as cooperative federalism. That term can apply to a wide variety of arrangements. One example would be a predominantly state-based system in which federal authority is limited to narrowly delineated areas, providing technical or financial support, or publishing non-binding guidelines to encourage harmonization. Another “classical” form would encompass centrally enacted or promulgated standards, with permitting and enforcement left entirely to state authority. A more dynamic approach recognizes the strengths in a system in which authority is more closely intertwined and overlapping rather than kept within largely separate spheres.
This chapter compares federal systems utilizing approaches that span the spectrum from classical to more dynamic, with a focus on regulation of water pollution as the organizing mechanism for exploring different forms of cooperative federalism.
Keywords: environmental law, federalism, comparative law, water pollution, water pollution control, permitting, enforcement, regulation
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