Deregulation by Any Other Name: New Jersey's Site Remediation Reform Act in Federal Context
Forced through a lame-duck Congress in 1980, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) was a bold, but flawed, legislative initiative. Superfund never attained the success of previous federal environmental programs, and a dramatic shift in political context played a lead role in that shortcoming.Throughout the 1980s, critics began to accuse federal environmental regulation of impeding economic growth while delivering only marginal results. When subsequent thinking coalesced around “streamlining” the Superfund program, one idea predominated: devolving enforcement duties to the states. This process is now quite advanced and enjoys some current academic support. Yet the same administrative problems, including administrative intransigence and political horse-trading, plague state governments as well. If politics has hindered Superfund administration,some state agencies face similar challenges. This Comment explores that possibility and asks what the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can do about it.