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RE: so-called levers





I must admit I am a most reluctant advocate for traditional command and control.
But Mike's allusion to rivers on fire misses the movement toward reinventing the
regulatory system (see work by Marion Chertow at Yale, the Aspen Institute, and
the Nat'l Academy of Public Administration, etc.). What I don't understand is
why many of the responses on this thread equate "regulation" with traditional
limits and technical standards. Can't we be a little more creative about what
"regulation" means? For instance, are not most facility planning laws
"regulation"?  NPPR's white paper on the topic finds this kind of regulation
very useful in advancing P2 just by encouraging companies to do the type of
analysis Mike and Bob (and I) advocate - on companies' terms. Even the economic
incentives someone mentioned are "regulation" - e.g. there is a cap on SO2
emissions that serves as the basis for the trading scheme, and any pollution tax
has a regulatory angle. There are numerous examples of regulations that advance
P2  without setting new limits, e.g. permit conditions to meet discharge limits
through P2 instead of better end-of-pipe treatment. And let's be honest: there
is still plenty of room in our current system for technical recommendations for
the no-brainers (e.g. would anyone argue that the Montreal Protocol was
unsuccessful in reducing CFC use?), especially where the P2 types have
demonstrated the efficacy of the alternative (e.g. South Coast solvent rule).

And despite the desire of this listserve to ignore it, multiple national studies
show that industry still responds first and foremost to legal requirements. And
while some trends are in the right direction (e.g. TRI emissions down), there
still is little evidence that most businesses are on the efficiency band-wagon
that we all advocate (e.g. total production related waste is up; pesticide use
is up; energy use is on an upward trend after ten years of being flat,;
greenhouse gas emissions are not shrinking at a rate to slow global warming). We
all know from our on-site work that most companies still are not picking the
low-hanging fruit , much less doing the wholesale reevaluation of the production
process that will net really big gains. So I agree that we can't regulate
ourselves into sustainability (especially if we can't change our conception of
regulation) , but it's also obvious the current P2 approach isn't getting the
penetration it deserves.   I am not manufacturing a crisis, but thinking
long-term: money for traditional voluntary P2 programs is shrinking, and it may
be time to figure out how to change the regulatory system to encompass P2,
rather than continue to think of ourselves as above or outside of it. In some
ways I see this as much more subversive: we will only be able to quell industry
rumblings about more regulation if we can deliver the goods, so we generate an
entirely new incentive for businesses to come to Bob and Pat Gallagher's
excellent workshops!!

John Katz
Pollution Prevention Coordinator
US EPA Region 9
415-744-2150
katz.john@epa.gov