An Empirical Study of US Environmental Federalism: RCRA Enforcement From 1998 to 2011

An Empirical Study of US Environmental Federalism: RCRA Enforcement From 1998 to 2011 State enforcement of federal environmental legislation has long been associated with the fear of environmental freeriding and states being too lenient, potentially leading to a race-to-the bottom in enforcement. This paper analyzes the effect of enforcement decentralization from 1998 to 2011 on a range of enforcement outcomes across US states as they have been authorized to implement their own programs aligning with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In this study, we look at the association between enforcement decentralization and corresponding outcomes, namely the number of evaluations, number of detected violations, and the amount of monetary penalties. Results showed that enforcement behaviors have not changed significantly as states have assumed more enforcement responsibilities; hence, we found no evidence of a race-to-the-bottom scenario associated with RCRA decentralization. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecological Economics Elsevier

An Empirical Study of US Environmental Federalism: RCRA Enforcement From 1998 to 2011

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN
0921-8009
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.01.024
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

State enforcement of federal environmental legislation has long been associated with the fear of environmental freeriding and states being too lenient, potentially leading to a race-to-the bottom in enforcement. This paper analyzes the effect of enforcement decentralization from 1998 to 2011 on a range of enforcement outcomes across US states as they have been authorized to implement their own programs aligning with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In this study, we look at the association between enforcement decentralization and corresponding outcomes, namely the number of evaluations, number of detected violations, and the amount of monetary penalties. Results showed that enforcement behaviors have not changed significantly as states have assumed more enforcement responsibilities; hence, we found no evidence of a race-to-the-bottom scenario associated with RCRA decentralization.

Journal

Ecological EconomicsElsevier

Published: May 1, 2018

References

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