Water Pollution Policies and the American States

Runaway Bureaucracies or Congressional Control?

By John A. Hoornbeek

Subjects: Environmental Politics, Public Policy, Environmental Studies, Political Science
Paperback : 9781438435428, 345 pages, January 2012
Hardcover : 9781438435411, 345 pages, May 2011

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
List of Acronyms
PART I. Introduction
1. Lawmaking and Water Pollution Policy: Can Congress Clean the Water?
2. Water Pollution in the United States
PART II. Runaway Bureaucracies? A Historical Analysis
3. A Historical Overview
4. The Era of Supportive Federalism, 1948–1971
5. The Era of Directive Federalism, 1972–1986
6. The Era of Experimental Federalism, 1987–Present
7. Congressional Direction and Policy Implementation: A Summary Analysis
PART III. Congressional Control?: Contemporary Water Pollution Policies and State Programs
8. Congress’s Will and Clean Water: The Design of Federal Law on the Protection of Surface Waters
9. State Non-Point Source Water Pollution Programs
10. State Point Source Permitting Programs
11. The Stringency of State Water Pollution Permits
PART IV. Summary and Conclusions
12. Findings and Implications: A Summary Analysis
13. Federal Water Pollution Policy: Where to Go from Here?
Appendix A Results of Probabilistic Surveys of American Water Resources, by Water Body Type, Released by USEPA as of September 2010
Appendix B Major State Non-Point Source Water Pollution Expenditures
Appendix C Strength of State Enforceable Authorities for Non-Point Source Water Pollution Control
Appendix D Point Source Water Pollution Data Sources and Coding
Appendix E Summary Explanation of Independent Variables

A fresh perspective on American water pollution policy


The relationship between federal and state water pollution policies is revealed and assessed in this incisive volume. Focusing on Congress's statutory directions in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 and state compliance, this study throws into relief the complex and often troubled relationship between the laws enacted by Congress and the public policies produced by state governments that implement them. Compliance at the state level can be affected and sometimes disturbed by state politics, particular policymaking processes, and the effects of federal oversight practices. As convincingly demonstrated in these pages, American water pollution policy reflects neither runaway bureaucracies nor Congressional control, but rather a complex intergovernmental process that is structured around Congress's statutory directions.

John A. Hoornbeek is Associate Professor of Policy and Management in the College of Public Health at Kent State University, where he also serves as Director of the Center for Public Administration and Public Policy.