Panel Paper: Overseeing the Enforcers: Bureaucratic Discretion in Federal Monitoring of State Hazardous Waste Enforcement Programs

Thursday, November 6, 2014 : 8:30 AM
Apache (Convention Center)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Nicholas Hart, George Washington University
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) enforcement priorities routinely come under criticism for the appearance of inappropriate targeting on the one hand, and the lack of targeting on the other. This study explores programmatic determinants of Federal oversight inspections conducted under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), including how a state’s performance manifested through inspection intensity affects EPA’s decisions to investigate within a state jurisdiction. The models with year and regional fixed effects suggest that increases in state inspection intensity from the preceding year have a significant effect on reducing the rate of Federal inspections.  A theoretical typology for enforcement activity is proposed for future consideration and modeling.