Federalism and Environmental Policy

Trust and the Politics of Implementation

Second Edition, Revised and Updated

Denise Scheberle

"In this new edition, Scheberle returns to the vital but often puzzling world of intergovernmental policy implementation. Thoroughly updated with new data and an expanded model, Federalism and Environmental Policy provides insights on the implementation question that are innovative and compelling. This book will have a major impact on the field."
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Giving particular attention to intergovernmental working relationships, this revised edition of Federalism and Environmental Policy has been significantly updated to reflect the changes that have taken place since the highly praised first edition. Denise Scheberle examines reasons why environmental laws seldom work out exactly as planned. Casting federal-state working relationships as "pulling together," "coming apart," or somewhere in-between, she provides dozens of observations from federal and state officials. This study also suggests that implementation of environmental policy is a story of high stakes politics—a story rich with contextual factors and as fascinating as the time the policy was formulated.

As four very different environmental programs unfold—asbestos (updated to include the fallout from the World Trade Center), drinking water, radon, and surface coal mining—Scheberle demonstrates how programs evolve differently, with individual political, economic, logistical, and technical constraints. The policy implementation framework developed for the book provides the lens through which to compare environmental laws.

Federalism and Environmental Policy goes beyond the contents of policy to explore the complex web of federal-state working relationships and their effect on the implementation of policy. It is unique in how it portrays the nuts-and-bolts, the extent to which the state and federal offices work together effectively—or not. Examining working relationships within the context of program implementation and across four different environmental programs offers a unique perspective on why environmental laws sometimes go awry.

Table of Contents

1. Environmental Federalism and Federal-State Working Relationships
Responses to Intergovernmental Working Relationships in the 1990s
Concepts of Federalism
NEPPS and the REG 8 Directive
A Typology of Working Relationships

2. Implementing Environmental Laws
Defining Implementation and Measuring Performance
Implementation as a Game of Strategy
Implementation as a Story
Implementation and Refocusing Events
Implementation Energizers
An Implementation Framework
Dynamics of the Model
Conclusions about Implementation
Study Design and Rationale

3. Unintended Consequences, Policy Retreat, and Refocusing Events in Asbestos Policy
History of Asbestos
Health Risks Associated with Asbestos
The Government Responds to Asbestos
Legal and Media Attention to Asbestos in the 1980s
Congress Develops an Asbestos Law
EPA Develops Asbestos Regulations
The Early Years of Implementing AHERA
Implementing AHERA Today
Refocusing Events: Libby, Montana, the World Trade Center and Litigation
A View from the States
Conclusions about the Asbestos Program

4. Survival of a Non-Regulatory Radon Program
Radon and Known Health Risks
A Perfect Triggering Event
The Indoor Radon Abatement Act, 1988
Early and Persistent Challenges to Implementing IRAA
Regulatory and Non-Regulatory Programs Collide: Radon in Drinking Water
Funding State Programs and Leveraging with Partnerships
Perceptions of State Radon Officials
Conclusions about the Radon Program

5. Implementing Drinking Water Regulations in a One-Size-Fits-All World
Key Elements of the Safe Drinking Water Act
Public Water Supply Systems
Setting National Drinking Water Standards
Amendments of 1986 and 1996 to the Safe Drinking Water Act
Arsenic: a Case Study of the Politics of the SDWA
Implementation Challenges and the Conceptual Framework
Perceptions of State Drinking Water Officials
EPA Responses
Conclusions about the Safe Drinking Water Program

6. High Stakes, Small Wins, and Big Coal in the Surface Mining Program
Wrestling with Issues of Control: the Primacy Approach
Coal Mining: East versus West
Coal Mining Techniques and Potential Environmental Consequences
Formulating Federal Surface Mining Policy
SMCRA Provisions and Implementation Story
The Evolution of OSM Oversight
Getting Away from the "Gotcha" Syndrome
Perceptions of State Surface Mining Officials

7. Conclusions about Implementation and Working Relationships
Pulling Together, Coming Apart, or Somewhere In-Between?
Working Relationships among Headquarters, Regional, and State Officials
A Tripartite Model
State "Wish Lists" for the Future
Regional "Wish Lists" for the Future
Suggestions for Getting to Relationships that "Pull Together"
Implementing Environmental Laws and the Conceptual Framework

Appendix: Research Sources and Methods



"Anyone who cares about federal-state relationships or environmental policy will applaud Denise Scheberle for updating her excellent book on these issues. This book not only provides up-to-date analysis of key policy developments in major environmental programs, but also provides a helpful analytic framework to advance our thinking about how to improve these important initiatives."—Paul L. Posner, General Accounting Office

"In this new edition, Scheberle returns to the vital but often puzzling world of intergovernmental policy implementation. Thoroughly updated with new data and an expanded model, Federalism and Environmental Policy provides insights on the implementation question that are innovative and compelling. This book will have a major impact on the field."—Ann O'M. Bowman, James F. and Maude B. Byrnes Professor of Government, University of South Carolina

"This revised and updated edition of Federalism and Environmental Policy provides a significant contribution to our understanding of relationships between the states and the national government. The major contribution of this work is to set the environmental policy process in its unique constitutional and political context. Substantial new research updates the four case studies, and Scheberle's analytic framework furnishes a blueprint for future environmental policy analyses. This is a splendid book for both scholars and students of environmental policy and federalism."—Susan J. Buck, associate professor of political science and director of environmental studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro,


Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Denise Scheberle is a professor emerita in the Department of Public and Environmental Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

224 pp., 6 x 9

Mar 2004

224 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-58901-100-7
Mar 2004

224 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-321-6
Mar 2004

American Governance and Public Policy series
Gerard W. Boychuk, Karen Mossberger, and Mark C. Rom, Series Editors

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