Strategic Planning in Environmental Regulation introduces an approach to environmental regulatory planning founded on a creative, interactive relationship between business and government. The authors argue that regulation—often too narrowly defined as direct, command-and-control standard-setting and enforcement—should include the full range of activities intended to influence private behavior to conform to public goals. The concept of strategic regulatory planning that the book introduces provides a model for designing more effective environmental regulation. Strategic planning requires careful consideration of the regulatory objectives, the target audiences for regulation, and the characteristics of the regulatory agency.
The two important case studies in the book—one on the use of the gasoline additive MTBE and the other on the cleanup of underground storage tanks (USTs)—apply the model, compare the approaches and results, and illustrate the advantages of a strategic approach.
The case of MTBE—in which an additive intended to produce cleaner-burning gasoline was found to contribute to both air and groundwater pollution—shows the drawbacks of top-down regulation by fragmented regulatory agencies. The success of the UST cleanup, in contrast, highlights a unique, strategic, and results-oriented approach to policy implementation. These two cases demonstrate why regulation works better in some cases than others, and the alternative approaches to regulation described in the book promise to promote the achievement of environmental quality goals.
About the Authors
Steven Cohen is Director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Policy at the School of International and Public Affairs and Director of the Office of Educational Programs at the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Sheldon Kamieniecki is Dean of the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the author or editor of many other books.
Matthew A. Cahn is Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Northridge.
"Useful and accessible for policy practitioners and students alike, Strategic Planning in Environmental Regulation offers a realistic, pragmatic guide to strategic environmental policymaking—it should serve as an important companion (and in some cases, corrective!) to policy analysis texts. In addition to providing excellent histories of MTBE and other underground storage-tank dilemmas, the book sheds much-needed light on environmental policy implementation, and in the process shows why optimism about some policy strategies really is warranted."
—Daniel Press, Professor and Chair, Environmental Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz
"The message of this book is a clear and valuable counterpoint to those rushing to find market-based solutions to environmental protection. Cohen, Kamieniecki, and Cahn demonstrate that regulation can work extremely well without undermining business and the economy. However, absent a strategic planning approach to implementing regulatory strategies—a blueprint which they provide—the hoped for environmental improvements stand little chance of being realized. This is an important book for the new and seasoned in the debate over the efficacy of regulatory environmental strategies."
—Daniel A. Mazmanian, Bedrosian Chair in Governance, University of Southern California