Edited by David M. Konisky
Chapter 4: The Environmental Protection Agency: policy and administration in a turbulent setting
The U.S. EPA is one of the primary institutions responsible for the design and implementation of national environmental policy. Through the lens of public organizations as open systems, this chapter examines EPA’s history, development, and current status, the turbulent political and economic setting in which it operates, and how it has responded. The EPA has struggled to contend with the effects of a programmatically fragmented rather than integrated internal structure, as well as multiple and conflicting political principals and a similar lack of integration in its broad and significant regulatory authority. Nevertheless, the agency has been one of the prime architects of significant national improvements in public health and environmental quality over the past 50 years. New, theoretically well grounded research on the EPA’s internal operations and leadership and its role in the national network of environmental governance are critical for understanding its prospects as it enters its second half century.
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