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The State of Environmental Enforcement: The Failure of State Governments to Enforce Environmental Protections and Proposals for Reform

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Publication Date: March 2003

Publisher(s): Colorado Public Interest Research Foundation

Author(s): Tony Dutzik

Funder(s): Educational Foundation of America; Beldon Fund

Funder(s): Educational Foundation of America; Beldon Fund

Topic: Environment (Pollution and environmental degradation)
Government (Government agencies and bodies)

Keywords: public health; water quality; air quality

Type: Report

Coverage: Colorado


Enforcement of clean air and clean water protections by state governments is weak. The State of Environmental Enforcement documents how state agencies ignore pollution problems, allow environmental law-breakers to escape without paying fines, conduct shoddy inspections, and have systems of record-keeping so flawed that no one can accurately determine just how bad the situation is. To protect public health, states must improve their enforcement of environmental laws.