Environmental Policy: Innovations

Authored by: Alka Sapat

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Environmental problems come in many shapes, sizes, and forms, and dealing with the variety and magnitude of these problems requires innovative strategies and solutions. To deal with these problems, local, state, and federal entities, at times with the help of citizen groups and non-profit organizations, have often pioneered new solutions; these government-sponsored initiatives to protect the environment are defined here as environmental policy innovations (EPIs). Over time, EPIs have become an important means of managing environmental problems, particularly those that are intractable, multimedia, and multijurisdictional in nature. The focus of this entry is to shed light on EPIs in American environmental management. This is undertaken by first defining them and examining the nature and type of EPIs, in particular their reliance and inclusion of collaborative forms of environmental management. Next, an analysis of some of the main factors affecting the adoption of EPIs is provided, including determinants such as institutional commitment, resources, the severity of the problem, and the role of interest groups. The effect of neighboring entities in spurring innovation adoption and diffusion is also explored. The entry ends with a conclusion that summarizes key aspects of EPIs, provides some considerations for further research, and discusses the policy implications of adopting environmental policy initiatives as a strategy for managing the environment.

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