STARKVILLE, Miss.--With this month's 40th anniversary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a recently published book finds innovation and challenges for the organization's partners in the South--a region not particularly known as a leader in environmental policy.
One of the nation's areas most affected by growth in the last 40 years, Southern states have important challenges, but have shown considerable creativity in seeking to address them. Two public administration and environmental policy experts have found examples of how these states use unique methods to address environmental issues.
Edited by environmental and public policy authorities Gerald Emison of Mississippi State University and John Morris of Old Dominion University, "Speaking Green with a Southern Accent" (Lexington Press, 2010) examines how state agencies and local governments address issues such as smog control, wastewater management, and hazardous waste site cleanup.
"The book finds Southern states have sought novel ways to combat environmental pollution," said Emison, a former senior executive with the EPA who helped craft the Clean Air Act of 1990. "This innovation is a necessary response to the traditional, cautious approaches preferred in the South."
Through their book, Emison and Morris show the South as a region that has embraced growth, shunned conventional regulatory methods to manage pollution, and "sought innovative approaches" for environmental protection. While pointing out creativity in environmental policy in the region, the book also acknowledges limits of innovation and the "danger of relying solely on low-funded, anti-regulatory environmental management practices," Emison said.
The authors said an overall theme, while examining environmental policy in the South, is context matters when choosing state environmental policies. The book illustrates opportunities and pitfalls within the constraints of larger political and social contexts.
Emison is an MSU associate professor of political science and public administration. Morris, a professor of urban studies and public administration at Old Dominion, researches expenditures and capital project effectiveness in advancing environmental protection.
For more information, contact Dr. Emison at 662-325-7865 or firstname.lastname@example.org.