Update of Historical Study of EPA

Grant Winner

  • Joel A. Mintz, J.S.D. – Shepard Broad Law Center


  • Joseph Harbaugh – Shepard Broad Law Center


Award Winners

I propose to bring up to date my very well received and often cited book, Enforcement At the EPA (Univ. of Texas, 1995), which provided a comprehensive history of the EPAs enforcement program from 1970 through early 1993. That book analyzed the EPA enforcement programs institutional setting within the larger political arena, and it assayed the programs strengths and shortcomings.

In this project, I plan to focus on critical events, trends and developments in EPAs enforcement efforts over the past decade. In particular, I will consider the contrasting environmental enforcement approaches taken by EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice during the Clinton administration and the first several years of the Presidency of George W. Bush.

This research (and the published writing that will follow it) will fill an important gap in the existing literature. It will focus on significant, largely unstudied developments in environmental enforcement, in the context of broader political/historical trends and events. I plan to take the same methodological approach as succeeded for me in Enforcement At the EPA. I will first review all available EPA statistics, policies, guidance documents, GAO reports, and other written sources that pertain to EPA enforcement since 1993. Next I will conduct numerous in-depth personal interviews, with past and present EPA and Justice Department officials who are positioned to have inside knowledge of EPA enforcement efforts. Finally, I will correlate the information gleaned from my document research with the data gathered in my interviews, evaluate the results, and summarize them in published writing.

I anticipate that my research will result in either a second edition of Enforcement At the EPA or one or two substantial law review articles, to be published in legal journals in 2004.