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© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Environmental Policy: Decision Making And Problem Solving Environmental Policy: An Overview & U.S. Environmental Policy.

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Presentation on theme: "© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Environmental Policy: Decision Making And Problem Solving Environmental Policy: An Overview & U.S. Environmental Policy."— Presentation transcript:

1 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Environmental Policy: Decision Making And Problem Solving Environmental Policy: An Overview & U.S. Environmental Policy AP Environmental Science Mr. Grant Lesson 10

2 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Objectives: Define the term environmental impact statement (EIS). Describe environmental policy and assess its societal context. Identify the institutions important to U.S. environmental policy and recognize major U.S. environmental laws.

3 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Define the term environmental impact statement (EIS). Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) - A report of the results from detailed studies that assess the potential effects on the environment that would likely result from development projects or other actions undertaken by the government or business.

4 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Describe environmental policy and assess its societal context. Policy is a tool for decision making and problem solving that makes use of information from science and values from ethics and economics. Policy = a formal set of general plans and principles to address problems and guide decision making Public policy = made by governments -Laws, regulations, orders, incentives, and practices -Intended to advance societal welfare Environmental policy = pertains to human interactions with the environment -Regulates resource use or reduces pollution -To promote human welfare and/or protect resources

5 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Describe environmental policy and assess its societal context. Science, ethics, and economics help formulate policy Science = provides information and analysis Ethics and economics = clarify how society can address problems Government interacts with citizens, organizations, and the private sector

6 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Describe environmental policy and assess its societal context. Environmental policy aims to protect natural resources and environmental amenities from degradation or depletion and to promote equitable treatment of people. It addresses the tragedy of the commons, free riders, and external costs. Tragedy of the commons = commonly held resources will become overused and degraded -Best prevented by oversight and regulations Free riders = reducing pollution tempts people to cheat -Private voluntary efforts are less effective than efforts mandated by public policies External costs = harmful impacts of market transactions are borne by people not involved in the transaction -Polluter pays principal = polluters cover costs of impacts

7 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Describe environmental policy and assess its societal context. Many factors hinder environmental policy Why are environmental laws challenged, ignored, and rejected by citizens and policymakers? Environmental policy involves government regulations -Property owners and businesspeople think regulations are inconvenient and cause economic loss Problems develop gradually and over the long term -Human behavior is geared toward short-term needs -Businesses opt for short-term economic gain -News media have short attention spans -Politicians act out of short-term interest

8 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Identify the institutions important to U.S. environmental policy and recognize major U.S. environmental laws. The legislative, executive, and judicial branches, together with administrative agencies, all play roles in U.S. environmental policy. -Legislative branch = Congress creates statutory law -Executive branch = enacts or vetoes legislation -Judicial branch = interprets laws -Administrative agencies = the “fourth branch” Laws are implemented and executed by agencies A source of policy through regulations Monitor and enforce compliance

9 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Identify the institutions important to U.S. environmental policy and recognize major U.S. environmental laws.

10 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Identify the institutions important to U.S. environmental policy and recognize major U.S. environmental laws. State and local governments also implement environmental policy. -States, counties, and municipalities also generate environmental policies -California, New York, and Massachusetts have strong environmental laws -State laws cannot violate principles of the U.S. Constitution California state and local agencies help regulate the impact of the International Wastewater Treatment Plant

11 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Identify the institutions important to U.S. environmental policy and recognize major U.S. environmental laws. The concept of regulatory taking arises from the Fifth Amendment. -Fifth Amendment = takings clause Bans the literal taking of private property Also bans regulatory taking, which deprives a property owner of economic uses of the property In 1992 the Supreme Court ruled that a state law intending to prevent serious public harm violated the takings clause Lucas, a land developer, was allowed to build homes on beachfront property -Although a state agency had prohibited construction on the property

12 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Identify the institutions important to U.S. environmental policy and recognize major U.S. environmental laws. U.S. environmental policy came in three waves. The first promoted frontier expansion and resource extraction. The second aimed to mitigate impacts of the first through conservation. The third targeted pollution and gave us many of today’s major environmental laws. -From 1780s to the late 1800s, promoted settlement and extraction of resources -People believed land was infinite and inexhaustible

13 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Typical laws of the 1780s–late 1800s Homestead Act (1862) = anyone could buy or settle on 160 acres of public land

14 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Typical laws of the 1780s–late 1800s General Mining Act (1878) = people could mine on public land for $5/acre with no government oversight

15 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Typical laws of the 1780s–late 1800s Timber Culture Act (1873) = 160 acres to anyone promising to plant trees on 25% of that land

16 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Identify the institutions important to U.S. environmental policy and recognize major U.S. environmental laws. U.S. environmental policy came in three waves. The first promoted frontier expansion and resource extraction. The second aimed to mitigate impacts of the first through conservation. The third targeted pollution and gave us many of today’s major environmental laws. Public perception and government policy shifted - Mitigated problems caused by westward expansion Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park, opened in Also, national wildlife refuges, parks, and forests Understood that the West’s resources were exhaustible -They required legal protection Land management policies addressed soil conservation The 1964 Wilderness Act preserves pristine land

17 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Identify the institutions important to U.S. environmental policy and recognize major U.S. environmental laws. U.S. environmental policy came in three waves. The first promoted frontier expansion and resource extraction. The second aimed to mitigate impacts of the first through conservation. The third targeted pollution and gave us many of today’s major environmental laws. Mid-to late-20th century people were better off economically -But lived with dirtier air, dirtier water, and more waste and toxic chemicals Increased awareness of environmental problems shifted public priorities and policies Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) described the ecological and health effects of pesticides and chemicals The Cuyahoga River was so polluted that it caught fire in the 1950s and 1960s Most Americans support environmental protection. Millions of people celebrate Earth Day each April

18 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Identify the institutions important to U.S. environmental policy and recognize major U.S. environmental laws. Some major U.S. laws include the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act. The National Environmental Policy Act (1970) - Requires an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for any federal action that might significantly impact the environment Significant environmental laws were the result of the public demand for a cleaner environment and support of tougher environmental legislation

19 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Identify the institutions important to U.S. environmental policy and recognize major U.S. environmental laws. Currently, a fourth wave of environmental policy, occurring internationally, may be building around sustainable development and addressing global climate change. Other nations have increased attention to issues -The 1992 Earth Summit -The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development This fourth wave of policy focuses on sustainability -Safeguarding ecosystems while raising living standards Climate change dominates much discussion on environmental policy


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