Are Environmental Regulation Intrusive Or Harmful?

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Are environmental regulations intrusive, protective, and/or harmful? Most environmental regulations started with good intentions. Somebody saw or perceived a problem or consequence from some activity or practice and then asked an agency to regulate the practice to mitigate or prevent the problem. As others here pointed out here, agencies typically try to get the persons or industry causing the problem to stop the harmful practices, and pay for solving the problems that were caused. They write a new regulation or law making it illegal to do the harmful practice, get it passed by executive order or statute, and then…show more content…
This is playing out right now across America with rules related to wetlands, streams and rivers. Seasonal ponds or irrigation ditches that farmers or landowners previously had full control over might suddenly become subject to a whole series of regulations originally designed only to protect swamps, estuaries, and other natural resource areas. These wetlands permits are very expensive and difficult to obtain, so the landowner suddenly is faced with a huge expense for doing the same activity. All of those fees are typically are used by government to expand the agency so they can regulate something they never before used to…show more content…
I was an environmental regulator until April this year. In a recent environmental cleanup, for example, I approved use of an incinerator on a remote beach to burn oil pollution out of dirt. I usually discourage this practice but in this case it was the only way. The company used a burner that could process 4 yards of dirt per day. After several months the burner manufacturer shipped some improved nozzles that would allow them to process 9 yards of dirt per day with the same effort and less fuel. A new rule, applying the clean air act, required an air pollution permit from our state’s new army of EPA funded clean air regulators if they increased processing capacity over 5 yards per day. The cost of that new permit was $120,000 plus all the additional regulators and inspections now involved in the project, and would cause a delay of several months. No other modifications were needed, this was only for the cost of compliance. They opted not to install the improved fuel efficiencies. This resulted in using over 50,000 more gallons of fuel to accomplish the same job. I would argue application of that regulation caused more environmental damage from increased fuel consumption and a 2 year cleanup operation that could have been accomplished in 1

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