Anatomy of Environmental Regulation

by Rae Zimmerman, Assoc. Prof. of Planning; Grad. School of Public Administration, New York Univ., New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Urban Planning and Development Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 1, Pg. 1-10

Document Type: Journal Paper


Environmental permits have proliferated over the past decade as a device for implementing environmental law and policy. This paper describes the phenomenon of proliferation, the state response to it, and two methods for further changes in the administration of permits to mitigate the complexity of the permitting process. Proliferation of permits can be understood in terms of the number of types of permits, permits issued within each type, agencies administering them, and variations in procedures from permit to permit. Two administrative models could be used to achieve greater administrative simplicity in permitting. The first is permit sequencing which involves ordering permits during the review process from the more comprehensive in scope (in terms of information and environmental analysis requirements) to the more specific, which would avoid repetitive analyses. The second approach is to use a high volume permit as a pivotal which would act as a screen for the review of other permits. Thus, these two techniques would in effect achieve the objective of stemming the proliferation in permits in a more comprehensive way than the approaches currently being implemented.

Subject Headings: Permits | Environmental issues

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