Beyond Superfailure: America's Toxics Policy For The 1990s

1st Edition

Daniel Mazmanian

Published September 18, 2018
Reference - 296 Pages
ISBN 9780367004613 - CAT# K402891

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Despite numerous small success stories, the big picture of America’s toxics programs is one of overall failure. Superfund has failed to Clean up America’s worst dump sites; policies to regulate generation of new hazardous waste have foundered; standards have been set for only eight of several hundred air toxics; transportation spills and industrial accidents continue unabated. In part, this “superfailure†reflects problems of bureaucratic implementation, but more importantly, it points to a failing of democratic discourse, technical risk assessment, and ultimately, the political process. Mazmanian and Morell address these issues and others in proposing a new approach to toxics policymaking for the 1990s and beyond. Skillfully employing case studies and examples from all over America and abroad, the authors chronicle the history of toxics disasters and success stories and then recommend basic changes in the way the U.S. should handle environmental problems of all types in the future. Chief among these prescriptions is a new emphasis on community-based discussion and decisionmaking, in combination with federal macro-level policy guidelines and industry-initiated policy innovations. The authors set forth detailed suggestions for ways to replace today’s policy inertia with initiatives they characterize as “positive action compliance, positive action permitting, and positive action Cleanup.†Engaging and thoroughly accessible, Beyond Superfailure will be of interest to students and practitioners of environmental policy as well as to activists and citizens who want to improve both the environment and the democratic process. Extensively illustrated with charts, checklists, and diagrams, the book should be useful and provocative in presenting a case for positive policy change.

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