Nicholas A. Ashford

Nicholas A. Ashford is Professor of Technology and Director of the Technology and Law Program at MIT. Ashford is co-author (with Charles C. Caldart) of Technology, Law, and the Working Environment.

  • Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics

    Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics

    Reclaiming the Environmental Agenda

    Nicholas A. Ashford and Charles C. Caldart

    Traces important legal, economic, and scientific developments in the environmental field through an examination of environmental law cases and commentaties by leading scholars, focusing on pollution prevention and control and emphasizing the evaluation, design, and use of the law to stimulate technological change and industrial transformation.

    The past twenty-five years have seen a significant evolution in environmental policy, with new environmental legislation and substantive amendments to earlier laws, significant advances in environmental science, and changes in the treatment of science (and scientific uncertainty) by the courts. This book offers a detailed discussion of the important issues in environmental law, policy, and economics, tracing their development over the past few decades through an examination of environmental law cases and commentaries by leading scholars. The authors focus on pollution, addressing both pollution control and prevention, but also emphasize the evaluation, design, and use of the law to stimulate technical change and industrial transformation, arguing that there is a need to address broader issues of sustainable development.

    Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics, which grew out of courses taught by the authors at MIT, treats the traditional topics covered in most classes in environmental law and policy, including common law and administrative law concepts and the primary federal legislation. But it goes beyond these to address topics not often found in a single volume: the information-based obligations of industry, enforcement of environmental law, market-based and voluntary alternatives to traditional regulation, risk assessment, environmental economics, and technological innovation and diffusion. Countering arguments found in other texts that government should play a reduced role in environmental protection, this book argues that clear, stringent legal requirements—coupled with flexible means for meeting them—and meaningful stakeholder participation are necessary for bringing about environmental improvements and technologicial transformations.

    This book is regularly updated online at http://mitpress.mit.edu/ashford_environmental_law

    • Hardcover $9.75
    • Paperback $90.00

Contributor

  • Making Microchips

    Making Microchips

    Policy, Globalization, and Economic Restructuring in the Semiconductor Industry

    Jan Mazurek

    An examination of the environmental and economic implications of the computer microchip industry's exodus from California's Silicon Valley to New Mexico, Virginia, Ireland, and Taiwan.

    In Making Microchips, Jan Mazurek examines the environmental and economic implications of the computer microchip industry's exodus from California's Silicon Valley to New Mexico, Virginia, Ireland, and Taiwan. Globalization, economic restructuring, and changing manufacturing processes in this rapidly growing industry present difficult new questions for environmental policy. Mazurek challenges the assumptions of U.S. policies designed to promote the competitiveness of domestic microchip makers. She argues that, although these initiatives focus on the economic effects of environmental regulation, they fail to acknowledge how economic and organizational changes within the industry collide with and often confound efforts to monitor and manage pollution from chemicals used in microchip manufacturing.

    Despite its reputation as a clean industry, microchip manufacturing is fraught with hazards. More than sixty dangerous acids, solvents, caustics, and gases are used to make microchips, and some of them are suspected to be carcinogens and/or reproductive toxins. Mazurek describes the environmental by-products of chipmaking, including soil contamination, air and water pollution, and damage to human health. Applying insights from economic geography to questions of how and where companies organize production, she shows how Silicon Valley played a pivotal role in the development of the microchip. Pairing federal environmental data with structural and geographic information on the six firms that continue to build wafer fabrication plants in the United States, she demonstrates how reorganization and relocation of manufacturing facilities divert attention from trends in toxic emissions and how they complicate public and private efforts to improve the industry's environmental performance. In the concluding chapter, Mazurek marshals her findings in a broader analysis of the expansion of global manufacturing and the resultant environmental problems.

    • Hardcover $12.75
    • Paperback $22.00