The Evolution of Environmental Regulations
(Motorola, Ft. Worth, TX)
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Do we have cleaner air? Cleaner water? Or do we simply pollute less? Has compliance with environmental regulations met the mark? Are voluntary regulatory incentive programs or international standards filling the gaps between environmental compliance and environmental improvement? The existing regulatory structure was establish through individual laws that tended to be media specific, narrowly focused and extremely limiting in the manner in which they were implemented. Clearly environmental regulations are beginning to evolve to meet the needs of the future. However, industry, international standards organizations, trade associations and many other groups are now trying to understand why with so many laws on the books, sustainability is not being achieved? This presentation takes both a logical and historical approach to evaluating where we have been and where we are going. The discussion will include a review of performance based regulations, international standards, and voluntary programs. The conclusion will demonstrate that our current regulatory structure must change and propose what regulations which support sustainability would need to accomplish.