Motivating Enforcement: Institutional Culture and the Clean Water Act
33 Pages Posted: 9 May 2007
Vigorous enforcement is a critical component of any credible environmental protection program. Congress recognized that fact when it enacted the Clean Water Act in 1972. The Act, therefore, contains an enforceable pollution control scheme, more than adequate federal enforcement tools, and calls upon the states and private citizens to aid in the enforcement of the Act. Unfortunately, enforcement efforts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have lapsed several times in the recent past. This article explores a form of self-regulation that would create an ex ante limit on politically motivated attempts to undermine the Act through non-enforcement. While not fail-proof, the full blossoming of a proud, independent law enforcement culture within EPA's enforcement staff may be one of the most feasible ways in which to maintain a stable and vital enforcement program.
Keywords: enforcement, clean water act, water pollution, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pollution, environmental history, environment, environmental law, administrative law, administrative enforcement, regulatory law, public administration
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation