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Environmental Policies In The United States

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Par   •  11 Mai 2013  •  562 Mots (3 Pages)  •  435 Vues

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Influencing Environmental Policy

You can have more influence on environmental policy than you

may realize. For example, as a citizen, you can contact your

elected representatives to tell them your opinion on issues. There

are also many other ways that consumers, businesses, the media,

and organizations can influence policy at all levels of government.

Many laws related to the environment are created at the

national level. However, there are also many state and local laws

that affect the environment. It is easier for an individual to influence

policy at the local level than at the national level. Local government

is more responsive to citizen input than state or federal

government is. It is also usually easier for citizens to organize and

contact their representatives at the local level.

Local Governments Local governments and planning boards

make many decisions for their communities. City councils and

governmental agencies hold public meetings in which citizens may

participate, such as the meeting shown in Figure 6. Local governments

can decide how land may be used and developed, and

where businesses and housing may be located. Local governments

and agencies also create plans for public facilities, for waste disposal

and recycling, and for many other facets of local life.

One common problem with local environmental planning is

that communities often do not coordinate planning with each

other. For example, your community may try to plan for clean air

or water, but a neighboring community may allow development

that creates pollution in your area. On the other hand, sometimes

several local communities work together. For example, towns

along the Hudson River in New York are cooperating to provide

a “greenway” of natural areas for public use that stretch hundreds

of miles along the river.

State Governments Environmental policy is also strongly influenced

at the state level. The federal government passes laws that

set environmental standards, but often these laws are minimum

standards. Individual states are usually free to create laws that set

higher standards. California’s vehicle emission standards are higher

than the federal standards

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