Motivating Enforcement: Institutional Culture and the Clean Water Act

33 Pages Posted: 9 May 2007

See all articles by William L. Andreen

William L. Andreen

University of Alabama - School of Law


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

Andreen, William L., Motivating Enforcement: Institutional Culture and the Clean Water Act. Pace Environmental Law Review (PELR), Vol. 24, p. 67, 2007, U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 985121, Available at SSRN:

William L. Andreen (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

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