For well over 30 years I have represented manufacturing, industrial, development, retail, ownership, lending, recycling, scrap, transportation and commercial interests in regulatory and liability programs associated with environmental law in federal and many state and local jurisdictions. Those clients have applied for construction and operating permits to construct and operate regulated processes, as well as for permits to allow the generation, treatment, storage or disposal of solid or hazardous waste. Many of those clients have been involved in administrative enforcement actions and litigation initiated by government officials or private citizens seeking relief provided by various environmental statutes. Clearly, there has been an explosion of environmental regulation this past 30 years.
Regulatory reform has received a lot of attention in political venues lately. Some have concluded that complex environmental regulation has effectively stymied the American economy, and all we need do is somehow loosen environmental regulations and jobs will essentially fall from the sky. The national economy is likely much more complicated, and my personal view is the regulation is not the problem. Rather, it is the regulator that needs some attention.