Freedom and Environmental Quality

by P. Walton Purdom, (F.ASCE), Dir.; Environmental Studies Inst.; and Prof. of Environmental Engrg., Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, Pa.,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 3, Pg. 211-215

Document Type: Journal Paper


Technical factors associated with environmental quality are intimately interwoven with the human values and beliefs of people regarding rights, privileges, and obligations in a free society. Our government has been directed to show a concern for the welfare of society while preserving individual freedom of action and private property. Many persons believe these two concerns can best be reconciled by local government. Yet, many current environmental problems are beyond the capability of local government to effectively control. NEPA requires Federal actions to be evaluated as to their environmental impact. Engineering design must not only consider workable feasibility and efficient, economic operation, but also environmental quality. Planning is required to relate issues of energy, food production, resource conservation, human health, economic productivity, ecosystems, population, and quality of life. Pennsylvania has proposed a Master Plan to preserve environmental quality through land-use controls.

Subject Headings: Environmental issues | Human factors | Local government | Economic factors | Population projection | Quality control | Social factors | Federal government | Pennsylvania | United States

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