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Environmental Governance

Environmental Governance

The Environmental Governance Programs work to develop inventive approaches to new or entrenched environmental problems and changing technologies and economies. The term “governance” includes the range of legal and other tools employed in both the private and public sectors to foster environmental protection.

Governance tools include, for example, not only traditional regulations, but environmental assessments, information disclosure, market mechanisms, economic incentives, and public policies and programs that promote voluntary stewardship.

ELI’s Environmental Governance Programs operate at the international, federal, state and local levels. Key objectives are to:

  • Develop and foster innovative government and business approaches to environmental protection.
  • Safeguard and strengthen the safety net of federal environmental law.
  • Introduce policymakers and practitioners to innovative ideas from academia.
  • Educate judges about the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws.
  • Develop effective environmental, health, and safety governance structures for new technologies.

 

What’s New and Upcoming....

Column: Are State Climate Efforts on Wane?

In the May/June 2014 issue of The Environmental Forum, a column by ELI Senior Attorney Linda Breggin discusses a recent survey that raises questions about how the public views the role of states in addressing climate change. 

Blog Post: Farm Policy and Environmental Protection

In a recent Harvard Environmental Law Review blog post, Farm Policy and Environmental Protection: It’s Time to Raise the Bar, ELI Senior Attorneys Linda Breggin and Bruce Myers point out that the Farm Bill took an important step toward enhanced environmental protection by linking conservation compliance to crop insurance, but that  much more can reasonably be expected of large-scale commodity crop operations as a condition of federal support, particularly with respect to nutrient pollution.

Enforcement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the District of Columbia Department of the Environment (DDOE)

ELI recently worked with DDOE to develop new and update and revise existing enforcement SOPs. Each SOP contains a step-by-step process for performing a specific task, which can help ensure that staff systemically follow agency procedures. Most state agency programs have written procedures, but up-to-date and well-thought-out SOPs provide a road map for staff from beginning to end and can improve efficiency and effectiveness. SOPs can help to: 

  • Strengthen and support the legal defensibility of enforcement cases by, for example, providing specific instructions on how to properly enter a facility, show credentials, conduct interviews, and collect evidence; 
  • Improve the professionalism of agency employees and the agency's image in the community by providing detailed procedures to follow in dealing with the public and regulated entities; 
  • Educate new employees about the proper procedures for performing their jobs and re-train current employees; and 

Demonstrate to U.S. EPA that the agency is performing delegated duties effectively and consistently.