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

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Chapter 3 Testing Your Comprehension 1 Justifications for environmental policy include protecting resources and environmental quality and promoting equity and justice among citizens. Specifically, environmental policy aims to deal with three problems: the tragedy of the commons, the free rider predicament, and external costs. External costs are those that result when one party avoids paying costs by making another party pay, either now or in the future. 2 The legislative branch is charged with writing law, the executive branch with administering it, and the judicial branch with interpreting it. Administrative agencies within the executive branch are sometimes considered the “fourth branch” of government. They issue regulations based on the broader legislatively written laws, monitor compliance, and enforce these laws and regulations. 3 A regulatory taking refers to an instance in which the government, by means of a law or regulation, deprives an owner of some or all of the economic uses of his or her property. 4 The first wave of environmental policy in the United States dealt mainly with the management of public lands during the period of westward expansion. The second wave dealt with the recognition that our resources were not limitless, and so required legal protection for their preservation and conservation. The third wave dealt with the pollution problems that became apparent in the mid- to late 20th century. Today, sustainable development (a largely international effort) may comprise a fourth wave.
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EOC_ch03 - Chapter 3 Testing Your Comprehension 1...

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