Environmental Regulation: How it Evolved and Where it is Headed

  • April 24, 1996
  • • Written by: Jane S. Shaw

April 1996, Vol 21, No 1

Abstract: The author addresses the history of environmental regulation by the federal government since the mid-1960s and explains why its growth has resulted in a deregulatory backlash. Federal environmental regulation stemmed from concerns raised by early environmentalists such as Rachel Carson; it increased because growing affluence led people to want a better environment and because confidence in the federal government was high. However, disillusionment with governmental encroachment is bringing about change. Congressional representatives are trying to slow down regulatory activity, and there is interest in turning responsibility for environmental protection back to the states.