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Robert L. Glicksman and Jessica A. Wentz

This chapter describes how the Clean Air Act (CAA) lays the foundation for US cooperative environmental federalism programs. The CAA was the first federal pollution law to significantly expand the federal government’s role beyond providing information and financial assistance to the states and regulating interstate pollution. At the same time, the Act preserved an important policy-making role for states choosing to participate. Despite its path-breaking federalism structure, the CAA’s approach is sometimes misunderstood, as reflected in stunning mischaracterizations of that structure in recent judicial decisions, including an important Supreme Court case. To set the record straight, the chapter explores why Congress embarked on this cooperative federalism venture, emphasizing the manner in which the CAA responds to collective action problems. It also evaluates the CAA’s implementation, identifying CAA cooperative federalism success stories that include the leadership provided by states such as California in regulating pollution from motor vehicles and, potentially, state and regional efforts to restrict greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Its failures include the persistent inability of some states to achieve the national ambient air quality standards and, ironically given its early provenance, the program to control interstate pollution. The chapter concludes by assessing whether the CAA’s cooperative federalism model is a good fit for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate disruption and suggesting alternative mechanisms for addressing intractable air pollution problems.

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Robert L Glicksman and LeRoy C Paddock

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the growth of environmental law and the decision-making structures that governments have developed to adopt, administer, and enforce it. It traces the manner in which cooperative federalism and public participation have affected decision-making structures in environmental law, primarily in the United States. It summarizes key challenges that policymakers continue to face in designing environmental laws, including choices on the allocation of authority among different levels of government, the appropriate mix of regulatory and non-regulatory tools to use in environmental protection initiatives, efforts to accommodate environmental protection and economic growth objectives, techniques to spur useful government action in the face of political stalemates, balancing the benefits of public participation with the potential for participatory procedures to slow or derail the implementation of environmental laws, and determining the role of judicial review. The chapter concludes with a road map of all of the other chapters in the book.
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LeRoy C Paddock, David L Markell and Robert L Glicksman

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Edited by LeRoy C Paddock, Robert L Glicksman and Nicholas S Bryner

The Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law is a landmark reference work, providing definitive and comprehensive coverage of this dynamic field. The Encyclopedia is organised into 12 volumes around top-level subjects – such as water, energy and climate change – that reflect some of the most pressing issues facing us today. Each volume probes the key elements of law, the essential concepts, and the latest research through concise, structured entries written by international experts. Each entry includes an extensive bibliography as a starting point for further reading. The mix of authoritative commentary and insightful discussion will make this an essential tool for research and teaching, as well as a valuable resource for professionals and policymakers.