Chapter 3

Essential Environment: The Science behind the Stories (3rd Edition)

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3 Environmental Policy: Decision Making and Problem Solving Chapter Objectives This chapter will help students: Describe environmental policy and assess its societal context Identify the institutions important to U.S. environmental policy and recognize major U.S. environmental laws Categorize the different approaches to environmental policy Delineate the steps of the environmental policy process and evaluate its effectiveness List the institutions involved with international environmental policy and describe how nations handle transboundary issues Lecture Outline 9. Central Case: San Diego’s Sewage Pollution Problems and Policy Solutions 1. In 2005, San Diego officials closed public beaches 36 times due to stormwater runoff that contaminated local rivers and coastal waters. 2. This problem also occurred across the border in the Mexican city of Tijuana, as raw sewage leaking from old sewer systems overflowed into streets, beaches, and the Tijuana River. 3. The international watershed of the Tijuana River covers 1,750 square miles, and is home to 2 million people living in two countries. As such, the Tijuana River is part of a transboundary
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4. Many people in the San Diego and Tijuana areas have worked with policymakers to address this problem. 35. Environmental Policy: An Introduction 1. Environmental policy addresses issues of equity and resource use. 1. A policy is a formal set of general plans and principles intended to address problems and guide decision making. 2. Public policy is made by governments. 3. Environmental policy pertains to human interactions with the environment. 4. Science, ethics, and economics all influence the problem-solving process of environmental policymaking. 5. When a society reaches broad agreement that an environmental problem exists, its leaders may often be persuaded to address the problem through the making of policy. 6. The tragedy of the commons, as explained by Garrett Hardin, is that an unregulated resource held in common will eventually become overused and degraded. 7. If a community agrees to reduce use, or pollution, in a common resource while one or two groups or individuals do not participate, they are free riders on the efforts of others; this can lead to the system collapsing. 8. External costs are harmful impacts that result from market transactions but are borne by people not involved in the transactions. 2.
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Chapter 3 - 3 Environmental Policy: Decision Making and...

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