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Weeks 10 & 11

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POLS 574 -- Autumn 2002

Environmental Regulatory Policy

Course Description

This is a topics course addressing environmental policy with specific focus on environmental regulation.  The theoretical foundations of the course address regulatory policy design, policy instruments, regulatory federalism, enforcement and compliance.  These issues are considered with respect to selected environmental regulatory policies and programs.  The emphasis is on generic issues of policy design and implementation within differing political environments, rather than conducting applied policy analyses of current or prospective policies.  The course should be of interest to those with interests in policy design and implementation as well as to those with topical interests in environmental policy and management.  

The course is intended to provide:

·        Theoretical perspectives from relevant policy literature;

·        Exposure to research issues and strategies for studying policy design and implementation; and

·        Exposure to issues regarding the design and implementation of social and environmental regulatory policies.

Participants are expected to have grounding in policy processes and be tolerant of journal articles involving empirical models.


Seminar participants will be responsible for a set of written assignments.  These will constitute 80 percent of the final grade as designated below.  An additional 20 percent of the grade will be based on the quality of class preparation and participation.  Class participants are required as part of their participation to turn in, via email, short impressions of each week’s readings/case in advance of class.  More details about assignments and participation will be provided in class.  The brief descriptions of assignments are as follows:

Assignment #1:  "Policy Design:  Philosophy and Approach"

Due:   October 22nd at class time (Week 4)

Assignment:  Develop an analytic depiction of the design and philosophy of an environmental regulatory policy of your choice.

Contribution to final grade:  20% of final grade.

Assignment #2: "Policy Instruments:  Mini-Case Analysis"

Due:  November 6th by 12 noon (Wednesday of Week 6)

Assignment:  Develop a mini-case analysis of the role of a policy instrument that is an important element of an environmental regulatory policy of your choice.

Contribution to final grade:  20% of final grade.

Assignment #3:  "Enforcement and Compliance Issues"

Due:  November 26th at class time (Week 9)

Assignment:  Discuss relevant enforcement and compliance issues for an environmental regulatory policy of your choice with attention to key concepts from relevant literature.

Contribution to final grade:  20% of final grade.

Assignment #4:  "Rethinking Environmental Regulation"

Due:  December 10th at class time (last class session)

Assignment:  Develop a short paper that identifies what you see as a key aspect of environmental regulation that would benefit from new insights or additional research.  Discuss:  (a) what you see as the conceptual and practical limitations of this aspect of research about environmental regulation; (b) what the literature says about these limitations (drawing from the course); and (c) what you see as fruitful research directions for rethinking this gap.

Contribution to final grade:  20% of final grade.

Penalties will be assigned to late papers of .4 reduction for each day that they are late. 

Seminar Sessions

The course will be run as a seminar with some twists.  For most weeks, the reading will consist of a set of key articles or book chapters along with illustrative policies and prior student papers.  The articles and chapters will serve as the backdrop to inform our discussion of the case examples.  Questions for discussion regarding the readings and the examples will be circulated in advance.

Class participants will be asked to share in presentation of summarizes of the readings and to lead in the discussion of the examples.  Regular class attendance is especially important for two reasons.  First, the class only meets once a week.  Second, much of the material discussed in class serves as the key foundation for the written assignments.


All required readings are from a coursepak and/or from the course web site.  A useful, optional book for those who want an over view of environmental policy and regulatory processes in the United States is:

Nancy K. Kubasek and Gary S. Silverman, Environmental Law, 4th ed.  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice-Hall, 2002.

This book is available at the UW bookstore and should be on reserve at the Odegaard library.  Journal and other material listed in what follows will be made available for copying or, as indicated, will be posted on the course web site.  These materials will not be on course reserve.  Additional background items listed below reference items that are useful to pursue if you desire to examine a given topic in more detail.


Items marked (P) will be available in a course packet and those marked (CW) are available for download on the course web site.

PART I.  Context and Conceptual Foundations

Week 1.  Course Overview and Policy Perspectives

(October 1st)

>Course Overview

>Case Discussion:  Regulatory Unreasonableness? And Reform?

Case:  New Source Review [handouts in class]

Additional background:

Kubaske and Silverman, “An Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy,” Chapter 4 in Environmental Law, 4th ed.., pp. 107-138.

Week 2.  Regulatory Policy Design
(October 8th)

Assignment #1 passed out -- due October 22nd by 12 noon.

>Thinking about regulatory design

Peter J. May. 2002. “Social Regulation,” in Lester M. Salamon, ed. The Tools of Government, A Guide to the New Governance.  New York:  Oxford University Press, pp. 156-216.  [copies to be provided.

Case discussion:

(CW) Animal Feeding Operations -- Pollution Discharge Permits, 18p.


Paper Example:

(CW)  “An Analysis of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990”  Debbie Weinstein class assignment, Autumn 1998, 8p.

Additional background:

Neil Gunningham and Darren Sinclair, “Instruments for Environmental Protection,” in Gunningham et al. Smart Regulation.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998: pp. 37-88.

Week 3.  Strategic Regulatory Choices
(October 15th)

>Voluntary regulation, self regulation, and regulation

(P) Kathryn Harrison. 1999. “Talking with the Donkey:  Cooperative Approaches to Environmental Protection,”  Journal of Industrial Ecology 2 (3):  51-72.

(P) Matthew Potoski and Aseem Prakash, “Protecting the Environment:  Voluntary Regulations in Environmental Governance,”  Policy Currents 11 (4): 9-11.

Case discussion:

(CW) “Cooperative Program for Environmental Compliance – Pork Producers,” EPA materials, 22p.

(P) Responsible Care -- Joseph Rees, “Development of Communitarian Regulation in the Chemical Industry,”  Law and Policy 19 (October 1997):  477-528.

Additional background:

Neil Gunningham and Joseph Rees. 1997. “Industry Self-Regulation:  An Institutional Perspective,”  Law and Policy 19 (October):  363-414.

Andrew King and Michael J. Lenox. 2000. “Industry Self Regulation without Sanctions:  The Chemical Industry’s Responsible Care Program,”  Academy of Management Journal 43 (4):  698-716.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, The Use of Voluntary Agreements in the United States:  An Initial Survey  ENV/EPOC/GEEI(98)27, Paris: OECD, 1998; 39p.

Eric W. Welch, Allan Mazur, and Stuart Bretschneider. 2000. “Voluntary Behavior by Electric Utilities:  Levels of Adoption and Contribution of the Climate Challenge Program to the Reduction of Carbon Dioxide,”  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 19 (Summer):  408-425.

Part II.  Policy Instruments and Policy Design

Week 4.  Policy Instruments  -- Rules and Standards
(October 22nd)

Assignment #1 due at class time.

Assignment #2 passed out -- due November 6th by 12 noon.

>Rules and Standards – Traditional Regulation

P. May, “Rules: Setting Expectations” and “Standards: Setting Benchmarks,” pp. 164-166 in “Social Regulation” chapter [see week 1]

Case discussion:

(CW) Rules and standards for NPDES for animal feeding operations, 6pp.

Paper Example:  [updated from printed syllabus -- moved from week 5]

(CW) “Controlling Volatile Organic Compounds,” Seema Balwani, Fall 2000, 8pp.

>Rules and Standards – Performance-based Regulation

(P) Cary Coglianese, Jennifer Nash, and Todd Olmstead. 2002. “Performance and Regulation:  A Conceptual Overview,”  Cambridge, MA:  Center for Regulation, Kennedy School of Government, 8pp.

Case discussion:

(CW) “Results Based Forest and Range Practices Regime for British Columbia,” Discussion Paper, 67pp.

Additional background:

Kubaske and Silverman, “Administrative Law and Its Impact on the Environment,” (excerpts relating to rule-making), Chapter 3 in Environmental Law, 4th ed., pp. 75-89.

Week 5.  Policy Instruments  -- Information and Rights
(October 29th)

>Information and Rights

(P) Janet A. Weiss. 2002. “Public Information,” in Lester M. Salamon, ed. The Tools of Government, A Guide to the New Governance.  New York:  Oxford University Press, pp. 217-254.

(P) Debora Stone. 1988. “Rights,” in Stone, Policy Paradox and Political Reason.  Boston:  Scott, Foresman and Company, pp. 265-289.

Case Discussion:

(CW) The Emergency Planning And Community Right-To-Know Act (SARA Title III), excerpts, 16pp.

Paper Example:  [Item added -- not on printed syllabus]

(CW) “The Role of Information as a Policy Instrument,” Jan Zuber, 1997, 8pp.

Additional background:

Eugene Bardach and Robert A. Kagan, "Liability" in Bardach and Kagan, Going by the Book, The Problem of Regulatory Unreasonableness  (Philadelphia:  Temple University Press, 1982): 271-299.

Janet A. Weiss and Mary Tschirhart, "Public Information Campaigns as Policy Instruments,"  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management   13 (Winter 1994):  82-119.

Week 6.  Policy Instruments  -- Economic and Market Incentives
(November 5th)

Assignment #2 due November 6th, 12 noon  P. May box (101 Gowen Hall).

(P) Joseph J. Cordes. 2002. “Corrective Taxes, Charges and Tradable Permits,” in Lester M. Salamon, ed. The Tools of Government, A Guide to the New Governance.  New York:  Oxford University Press, pp. 255-281.

Case discussion:

(CW) Recycling -- Seattle Solid Waste Plan 1998, plus statistics 2000, 18pp.

Paper Example:

(CW) “California’s Renewable Energy Program,” Jennifer Auletta, Fall 2000, 8pp.

Additional background:

Gary Bryner, New Tools for Improving Government Regulation:  An Assessment of Emissions Trading and Other Market-Based Regulatory Tools.  Grant Report, Arlington, VA:  Pricewaterhouse Coopers Endowment, October 1999, 32p.

OECD, Economic Instruments for Pollution Control and Natural Resource Management in OECD Countries, A Survey.  Paris: OECD, September 1999; 115p.

Peter N. Grabosky, “Regulation by Reward:  On the Use of Economic Incentives as Regulatory Instruments,”  Law and Policy 17 (July 1995):  257-282.

Part III.  Regulatory Enforcement and Compliance

Week 7.  Regulatory Failures and Enforcement
(November 12th)

Assignment #3 passed out -- due November 26th at class time.

>Regulatory Enforcement – Agency Enforcement Choices and Approaches

(P) Jeremy Firestone.  2002. “Agency Governance and Enforcement:  The Influence of Mission on Environmental Decisionmaking,”  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 21 (3):  409-426.

(P) Peter J. May and Soeren Winter. 1999. “Regulatory Enforcement and Compliance:  Examining Danish Agro-Environmental Policy,”  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 18 (4):  625-651.

>Regulatory Enforcement – Inspectors and Enforcement Styles

(P) Peter J. May and Soeren Winter. 2000. “Reconsidering Styles of Regulatory Enforcement:  Patterns in Danish Agro-Environmental Policy,”  Law and Policy 22 (2): 145-173.

(P) Peter J. May and Robert S. Wood. 2003. “At the Regulatory Frontlines:  Inspectors’ Enforcement Styles and Regulatory Compliance,”  Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, in press.

(P) Robert S. Wood.  2002. “At the Regulatory Frontlines:  Positive versus Negative Explanations for Street-Level Behavior,”  paper presented at the 2002 Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, August 29 – September 1, 2002.

Case Examples

(CW) Water Quality Enforcement – Washington Water Quality Enforcement Review, 1999 (excerpts), 36pp.

Paper Examples:

(CW) “Regulatory Approach:  Office of Pipeline Safety,” Rachel Neville, Fall 2000, 7pp

(CW) “Section 319 of the Clean Water Act:  Analysis of Enforcement and Compliance, Carrie Salters, Fall 2000, 8pp.

Additional background:

Robert A. Kagan, "Regulatory Enforcement," in David H. Rosenbloom and Richard D. Schwartz, eds.  Handbook of Regulation and Administrative Law  (New York:  Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1994):  383-422.

Kathryn Harrison, “Is Cooperation the Answer?  Canadian Environmental Enforcement in Comparative Context,”  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 14 (Spring 1995):  221-244.

Peter J. May and Raymond J Burby, "Making Sense Out of Regulatory Enforcement,"  Law and Policy 19 (April 1998): 157-182.

John T. Scholz, "Voluntary Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement,"  Law and Policy   6 (October 1984): 385-405.

Week 8.  Regulatory Compliance – Beyond Enforcement
(November 19th)

Assignment #4 passed out -- due December 10th at class.

>Framing the problem as one of compliance

(P) Soren C. Winter and Peter J. May.  2001.  “Motivation for Compliance with Environmental Regulations,”  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 20 (4): 675-698.

(P) Peter J. May. 2002. “Compliance Motivations:  Affirmative and Negative Bases,”  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Law and Society Association, Vancouver, BC, June 2002.

Case Example:

Water Quality – Hard versus Soft Paths:

(CW) “Washington Boatyard Permit Requirements,” 25pp.

(P) Peter J. May. 2002. “Regulation and Motivations:  Hard versus Soft Regulatory Paths,”  paper presented at the 2002 Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, August 29 – September 1, 2002.

Additional background:

Fred S. Coombs,  "The Bases of Noncompliance with a Policy" Policy Studies Journal  8 (no. 6, 1980):  885-900.

Joseph F. DiMento, "The Noncompliance Problem," chapter 2 of Environmental Law and American Business, Dilemmas of Compliance.  New York: Plenum Press, 1986, pp. 19-37.

Margaret Levi, "Creating Compliance" chapter 3 in Levi Of Rule and Revenue  (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1988):  48-70.

Paper Examples:

(CW) “Understanding the Role of Third Party Intermediaries in the Policy Cycle:
The Need for a More Systematic Framework,” Shane Day, Fall 2002, 11pp.

(CW) “Cooperative Forms of Policy:  A Catch-22,” Carrie Salters, Fall 2002, 6pp.

Part IV.  Considering (selected) Regulatory Reforms

Week 9.  From Regulating Actions to Implementing Performance Systems
(November 26th)

Assignment #3 due at class time.

> Management Systems as Regulatory Foci

(P) Cary Coglianese and David Lazer. 2002. “Management-Based Regulatory Strategies,” in John D. Donahue and Joseph S. Nye eds. Market-Based Governance.  Washington, DC: Brookings Press, pp. 201-224.

>Environmental Management Systems:  Solution or Smokescreen?

(P) Richard Andrews et al. 2001. “Environmental Management Systems:  History, Theory, and Implementation Research,” in Cary Coglianese and Jennifer Nash, eds.  Regulating from the Inside, Can Environmental Management Systems Achieve Policy Goals?  Washington,  DC: RFF Press, pp. 31-60.

Case Discussion:  HACCP

(P) Karen L. Hulebak and Wayne Schlosser.  2002. “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) History and Conceptual Overview,”  Risk Analysis 22 93): 547-552.

(CW) HACCP Backgound Summay Sheets – USDA/FSIS, 12pp.

Week 10.  The Bigger Picture
(December 3rd)

>Considering Reforms and Future Directions

Karl Hausker. 1999. The Convergence of Ideas on Improving the Environmental Protection System.  Washington DC:  Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Peter J. May.  1996. “Rethinking Intergovernmental Environmental Management,” (pp 1-20) and “Prospects for Cooperative Intergovernmental Policies,” (pp 196-212) in P. May et al., Environmental Management and Governance, London:  Routledge Press.

Ragnar E. Lofstedt and David Vogel. 2001. “The Changing Character of Regulation:  A Comparison of Europe and the United States” with commentary, Risk Analysis 21 (3): 399-416.

Case Disucssion:  Selected Reforms

Week 11.  Wrap Up
(December 10th)

Final assignment due December 10th at class time.

> Discussion of final papers

> Wrap up course

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