Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen
from Candida Höfer, Libraries (London: Thames & Hudson, 2005)
- Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) et al., Public Health Emergency Preparedness: Six Years of Achievement
"Uniting public health players, including agencies at the state and local levels, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Program is a key component of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) response to the 9/11 and anthrax incidents in the fall of 2001. To take action against an expanded scope of threats, the CDC allocated approximately $4.9 billion in overall base funding to this cooperative agreement for public health emergency preparedness from FY 2002 through FY 2007."
- Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Climate-Change Policy and CO
2Emissions from Passenger Vehicles (Economic and Budget Issue Brief) (October 6, 2008)
"Human activities are producing increasingly large quantities of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO
2), and their accumulation in the atmosphere is expected to affect the climate throughout the world. This Congressional Budget Office issue brief examines the role of passenger vehicles (cars and light trucks) in the U.S. effort to curb those emissions. In particular, the brief looks at how putting a price on CO 2emissions—for example, through a cap-and-trade system—would affect gasoline prices and, as a consequence, vehicle emissions."—Summary.
- Deloitte LLP, Energy Policy of Presidential Candidates (2008)
"'Energy Policy of Presidential Candidates' reviews key oil and gas tax policy differences of the presidential candidates. It focuses predominantly on the issues and political positions that are most relevant to the oil and gas industry from a tax perspective. Few industries have the impact on global economic livelihood, societal functioning and quality of life as significantly as the energy industry, and few industries face as many challenges."
- European Environment Agency, Impacts of Europe's Changing Climate: 2008 Indicator-based Assessment (EEA Report, no. 4/2008) (JRC Reference Report, no. JRC47756) (2008)
"This report is an update and extension of the 2004 EEA Report Impacts of Europe's changing climate. Since 2004, there has been much progress in monitoring and assessing the impacts of climate change in Europe. The objectives of this report are to present this new information on past and projected climate change and its impacts through indicators, to identify the sectors and regions most vulnerable to climate change with a need for adaptation, and to highlight the need to enhance monitoring and reduce uncertainties in climate and impact modelling. To reflect the broadening of coverage of indicators and make use of the best available expertise, the report has been developed jointly by EEA, JRC and WHO Regional Office for Europe....
"The main part of this report summarises the relevance, past trends and future projections for about 40 indicators (from 22 in the 2004 report). The indicators cover atmosphere and climate, the cryosphere, marine systems, terrestrial systems and biodiversity, agriculture and forestry, soil, water quantity (including floods and droughts), water quality and fresh water ecology, and human health. The report also addresses adaptation and the economics of climate change impacts and adaptation strategies and policies, and data availability and uncertainty."—Executive Summary.
- Emily Figdor, Environment California Research & Policy Center, Feeling the Heat: Global Warming and Rising Temperatures in the United States (October 2008)
"Global average surface temperatures have increased by more than 1.4°F since the mid-19th century. In 2007, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that the evidence of global warming is 'unequivocal' and that human activities are responsible for most of this rise in temperature.
"To examine recent temperature patterns in the United States, we compared temperature data for the years 2000–2007 with the historical average, or 'normal,' temperature for the preceding 30 years, 1971–2000. Our data were collected at 255 weather stations—those with the highest quality data—in all 50 states and Washington, DC. Overall, we found that temperatures were above the 30-year average across the country, indicating pervasive warming."—Executive Summary.
- Financial Times, Climate Change Series (2008)
A three-part series published at FT.com. "Climate change is arguably the most vital issue facing mankind today. Ban Ki-moon, United Nations secretary-general, has said tackling the threat of climate change is 'the defining challenge of our age.'"
- Green Alliance, A Last Chance for Coal: Making Carbon Capture and Storage a Reality (2008)
"This collection shows just how far the debate on climate change has come. It includes contributions from individuals with vastly different backgrounds. All agree that decisive action on climate change in the next decade is imperative. Our tentative steps to date are simply not enough. We have little time to make the transition to a zero-carbon economy. We must accelerate our efforts now.
"The contributors[sic] shared focus is finding solutions that match the scale of the challenge. We will only succeed if we link climate change with other pressing challenges. Climate change and energy policy, in particular, must be tackled together. We cannot purchase energy security at the cost of climate security. But old thinking is proving hard to overcome in developing energy policy. The political imperative to ‘keep the lights on’ cannot be wished away; but neither can it be used as an excuse to avoid securing a stable climate. We must meet both goals at once."—Stephen Hale, Green Alliance, Introduction.
- Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Board on Global Health, Forum on Microbial Threats, Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Understanding the Contributions to Infectious Disease Emergence (Workshop Summary) (2008)
"The Forum on Microbial Threats of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) held a public workshop in Washington, DC, on December 4 and 5, 2007, to explore the anticipated direct and indirect effects of global climate change and extreme weather events on infectious diseases of humans, animals, and plants and the implications of these health impacts for global and national security. Through invited presentations and discussions, invited speakers considered a range of topics related to climate change and infectious diseases, including the ecological and environmental contexts of climate and infectious diseases; direct and indirect influences of extreme weather events and climate change on infectious diseases; environmental trends and their influence on the transmission and geographic range of vector- and non-vector-borne infectious diseases; opportunities and
challenges for the surveillance, prediction, and early detection of climate-related outbreaks of infectious diseases; and the international policy implications of the potentially far-reaching impacts of climate change on infectious disease."—Executive Summary.
- Steven J. Milloy & Thomas Borelli, National Center for Public Policy Research, Pensions in Peril: Are State Officials Risking Public Employee Retirement Benefits by Playing Global Warming Politics? (National Policy Analysis, no. 575) (September 2008)
"Global warming has emerged as an important issue for investors, including state and local pension funds. Although global warming regulation appears likely to cause significant adverse impacts to the broad economy and stock market, a substantial minority of state and local pension funds are nonetheless actively promoting global warming regulation, while the majority of state and local pension funds have yet to promote or oppose such regulation. Compounding this problem is the fact that many of these pension fund systems are dangerously underfunded and are relying on predicted investment returns that are unlikely to occur.
"We conclude that state and local pension fund administrators who promote or ignore global warming regulation may be contributing to undesirable economic conditions that will adversely impact the portfolios they manage. Moreover, pension administrators who are promoting global warming regulation appear to be doing so for partisan political purposes. This could be considered a breach of their fiduciary responsibility. We recommend that, unless global warming regulation can be justified as a significant benefit to the broad economy and stock market, state and local pension fund administrators actively oppose it."—Executive Summary.
- Bruce F. Molnia, United States Geological Survey (USGS), Glaciers of North America—Glaciers of Alaska (Professional Paper 1386-K) (2008)
A new chapter of Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World. "In each chapter, remotely sensed images, primarily from the Landsat 1, 2, and 3 series of spacecraft, are used to study the glacierized regions of our planet and to monitor glacier changes. Landsat images, acquired primarily during the middle to late 1970s, were used by an international team of glaciologists and other scientists to study various geographic regions or to discuss glaciological topics. In each geographic region, the present areal distribution of glaciers is compared, wherever possible, with historical information about their past extent. The atlas provides an accurate regional inventory of the areal extent of glacier ice on our planet during the 1970s as part of a growing international scientific effort to measure global environmental change on the Earth’s surface."—Preface.
- National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), Pandemic Preparedness in the States: An Assessment of Progress and Opportunity (Issue Brief) (September 2008)
"This paper presents an overall assessment of the current level of pandemic preparedness in the states, based on the NGA Center’s observations and an analysis of the information provided by workshop participants. It focuses specifically on preparedness in four sectors or disciplines that are common to all states—healthcare, commerce, education and public safety—and identifies five broad areas in which new or improved policies, procedures, capabilities or strategies are needed to improve overall pandemic preparedness."—Executive Summary.
- Jonathan L. Ramseur, Analyst in Environmental Policy, Resources, Science, and Industry Division, Congressional Research Service (CRS), Potential Offset Supply in a Cap-and-Trade Program (CRS Report for Congress, Order Code RL34705) (October 14, 2008)
"If allowed as a compliance option in a greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction program (e.g., a cap-and-trade system), offsets have the potential to provide considerable cost savings and other benefits. However, offsets have generated considerable controversy, primarily over the concern that illegitimate offsets could undermine the ultimate objective of a cap-and-trade program: emission reduction.
"An offset is a measurable reduction, avoidance, or sequestration of GHG emissions from a source not covered by an emission reduction program. An estimate of the quantity and type of offset projects that might be available as a compliance option would provide for a more informed debate over the design elements of a cap-and-trade program. It is difficult to estimate the supply of offsets that might be available in a cap-and-trade system, because the supply is determined by many variables..."—Summary.
- Janet Ranganathan et al., World Resources Institute (WRI), Ecosystem Services: A Guide for Decision Makers (2008)
"Human well-being utterly depends on nature. Development, defined broadly to encompass social, economic, and environmental aspects of growth, aims to improve human well-being. Despite the inextricable connections, development and nature have frequently been considered in isolation or even in opposition. This guide aims to help decision makers reconcile the two by outlining how an Ecosystems Services Approach can be incorporated into existing decision making processes to strengthen development strategies. It is intended for use by a city mayor; a local planning commission member; a provincial governor; an international development agency official; or a national minister of finance, energy, water, or environment and those working for them."—Summary.
- Peter Spiro, Opinio Juris (blog), Updating State Climate Change Activity (Kysar and Meyler Wonder If Its Constitutional) (September 26, 2008)
"The problem with state climate change initiatives: if the states sign on to emissions reductions on their own, the U.S. will be in a weaker position to extract emissions reductions from other countries. That’s a plausible argument against state activity. On the other hand, when California and these other economies sign on to reductions, they advance the overall objective of reducing global emissions. As Arnold Schwarzenegger loves to point out, in terms of economic size California would rank fifth among nations. That presumably compensates for the lost chips, especially where we’re looking at an Administration unwilling to use them in the first place. The bargaining chip rationale doesn’t play much of a role in the big foreign affairs preemption cases (Zschernig, Crosby, and Garamendi, among others)."
- United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), World Database on Protected Areas
"The World Database on Protected Areas is a foundation dataset for conservation decision making. It contains crucial information from national governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, international biodiversity convention secretariats and many others. It is used for ecological gap analysis, environmental impact analysis and is increasingly used for private sector decision-making."—Welcome.
- United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), World Glacier Monitoring Service, Global Glacier Changes: Facts and Figures (2008)
"There is mounting evidence that climate change is triggering a shrinking and thinning of many glaciers world-wide which may eventually put at risk water supplies for hundreds of millions—if not billions—of people. Data gaps exist in some vulnerable parts of the globe undermining the ability to provide precise early warning for countries and populations at risk. If the trend continues and governments fail to agree on deep and decisive emission reductions at the crucial UN climate convention meeting in Copenhagen in 2009, it is possible that glaciers may completely disappear from many mountain ranges in the 21st century."
- United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), The State of Food and Agriculture—Biofuels: Prospects, Risks, and Opportunities (2008)
"More than at any time in the past three decades, the world’s attention is focused this year on food and agriculture. A variety of factors have combined to raise food prices to the highest levels since the 1970s (in real terms), with serious implications for food security among poor populations around the world. One of the most frequently mentioned contributing factors is the rapid recent growth in the use of agricultural commodities—including some food crops—for the production of biofuels. Yet the impact of biofuels on food prices remains the subject of considerable debate, as does their potential to contribute to energy security, climate-change mitigation and agricultural development. Even while this debate continues, countries around the world confront important choices about policies and investments regarding biofuels. These were among the topics discussed at FAO in June 2008 by delegations from 181 countries attending the High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy. Given the urgency of these choices and the magnitude of their potential consequences, participants at the Conference agreed that careful assessment of the prospects, risks and opportunities posed by biofuels is essential. This is the focus of FAO’s 2008 report on the State of Food and Agriculture."—Foreword.
- United Nations (UN), International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), Hospitals Safe From Disasters: Reduce Risk, Protect Health Facilities, Save Lives (October 8, 2008)
"The World Disaster Reduction Campaign for 2008-2009 focuses on making 'Hospitals Safe from Disasters'. When health facilities are damaged, so, too, is our ability to improve maternal and child health and to provide other essential health services. But in resilient communities, health systems are better able to withstand natural hazards. We need to mobilize society at every level to reduce risk and protect health facilities so that they can save lives."—Mr. Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General, Message on the International Day for Disaster Reduction.
- United Nations (UN), International Year of Sanitation 2008, Tackling a Global Crisis: International Year of Sanitation 2008
"For too long, policy-makers have talked about ‘water and sanitation’ as if they were one and the same thing. Water, without which nothing on earth can survive, is popularly desired and its supply is politically backed above all life-supporting services. But sanitation remains the poor relation. Neither people nor politicians want to engage with sanitation, however necessary it may be. Dirt and its removal are distasteful topics. So the resources needed to tackle the global sanitation crisis have not been forthcoming."—Introduction.
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Wetland Initiatives (Fact Sheet) (October 2008)
"USDA has announced that additional payment incentives are being provided through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to agricultural producers to encourage enhanced wetland and bottomland hardwood conservation. Included are practice, signing and soil rental rate incentives."—News release (October 7, 2008)
- United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Arctic Report Card 2008
"Temperature increases, a near-record loss of summer sea ice, and a melting of surface ice in Greenland are among some of the evidence of continued warming in the Arctic, according to an annual review of conditions in the Arctic issued today by NOAA and its university, agency, and international partners."—Press release (October 16, 2008)
- United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), The Framework for Dealing with Disasters and Related Interdependencies Working Group
"This study focuses on the United States’ability to respond to and recover from a major disaster that could result in a prolonged loss of infrastructure services expanding beyond a local area.
"The Desired Outcome is to identify areas that are impediments to:
- Private sector and local/state government recovery of critical infrastructures, and
- Deploying needed federal resources."
- United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), FEMA’s Sheltering and Transitional
Housing Activities After Hurricane Katrina (OIG-08-93) (September 2008)
"Better planning for catastrophic disasters may have allowed FEMA to effectively respond to the housing needs of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma victims. Before Hurricane Katrina, FEMA did not have plans that clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and processes to address housing needs. After Hurricane Katrina, FEMA did not (1) coordinate housing needs among state and local governments; (2) provide adequate contract management and monitoring; or (3) provide oversight of contractors’ performance."—Executive Summary.
- United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), Hurricane Katrina: Wind Versus Flood Issues (OIG-08-97) (September 2008)
"The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007 (Public Law 109-295), directed us to investigate whether, and to what extent, insurance companies participating in the National Flood Insurance Program, referred to as Write-Your-Own Companies (WYOs), improperly attributed damages from Hurricane Katrina to flooding rather than to windstorms covered under homeowner policies or wind insurance pools. We concluded that the NFIP did not pay for wind damage for structures included in our sample. However, some of the same types of damages, e.g., ceiling repairs, loss of personal property, were paid by both flood and homeowner/wind pool policies."—Executive Summary.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Children's Environmental Health 2008: Environment, Health, and a Focus on Children
"In the field of environmental protection, experts did not always recognize that children their body weight. Unclean food, water, and air are different from adults. Protective measures were first written with the average American adult—not children—in mind. Calculating the environmental contribution to disease is an evolving field, and the question of how much disease can be prevented through healthier environments is often asked. The World Health Organization estimates that one-quarter of the global disease burden is due to environmental factors. For children, that proportion rises to one-third. This burden is much greater in developing countries, where infant death from environmental causes is 12 times higher than in developed countries. Children encounter their environments differently from adults. Physically, their neurological, immunological, respiratory, digestive, and other physical systems are still developing and can be more easily harmed by exposure to environmental factors. Children eat more, drink more, and breathe more than adults in proportion to their body weight. Unclean food, water, and air therefore is more threatening to their health. Children also have unique exposure pathways, such as through the placenta or breast milk."—Why Focus on Children?
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Final National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change (EPA 800-R-08-001) (September 2008)
"To assist in responding to potential effects of climate change, a new strategy focuses on 40 specific actions for the national water program to take to respond to climate change. EPA's "National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change" describes steps for managers to adapt their clean water, drinking water, and ocean protection programs."—Press release (October 2, 2008)
- United States Geological Survey (USGS), Ecosystem Services Derived from Wetland Conservation Practices in the United States Prairie Pothole Region with an Emphasis on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve Programs (Professional Paper 1745) (2008)
"Implementation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) has resulted in the restoration of approximately 2,200,000 ha (5,436,200 acres) of wetland and grassland habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region. These restored habitats are known to provide various ecosystem services; however, little work has been conducted to quantify and verify benefits on program lands (lands enrolled in the CRP and WRP) in agriculturally dominated landscapes of the Prairie Pothole Region. To address this need, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with the USDA Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service, initiated a study to develop and apply approaches to quantify changes in ecosystem services resulting from wetland restoration activities funded by the USDA.... In this report, we evaluate the extent that these ecosystem services changed in restored wetlands relative to cropland and native prairie baselines. In most cases, our results indicate restoration activities funded by the USDA have positively influenced ecosystem services in comparison to a cropped wetland baseline; however, most benefits were only considered at a site-specific scale, and better quantification of off-site benefits associated with conservation programs will require detailed spatial data on all land areas enrolled in conservation programs."—Executive Summary.
- United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Carbon Offsets: The U.S. Voluntary Market Is Growing, but Quality Assurance Poses Challenges for Market Participants (Report to Congressional Requesters, no. GAO-08-1048) (August 2008)
"The scope of the U.S. voluntary carbon offset market is uncertain because of limited data, but available information indicates that the supply of offsets generated from projects based in the United States is growing rapidly. Data obtained from a firm that analyzes the carbon market show that the supply of offsets increased from about 6.2 million tons in 2004 to about 10.2 million tons in 2007. Over 600 organizations develop, market, or sell offsets in the United States, and the market involves a wide range of participants, prices, transaction types, and projects. The federal government plays a small role in the voluntary market by providing limited consumer protection and technical assistance, and no single regulatory body has oversight responsibilities. A variety of quality assurance mechanisms, including standards for verification and monitoring, are available and used to evaluate offsets, but data are not sufficient to determine the extent of their use. Information shared with consumers on credibility is also limited. Participants in the offset market face challenges ensuring the credibility of offsets, including problems determining additionality, and the existence of many quality assurance mechanisms. GAO, through its purchase of offsets, found that the information provided to consumers by retailers offered limited assurance of credibility."—What GAO Found.
- United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Climate Change: Federal Actions Will Greatly Affect the Viability of Carbon Capture and Storage As a Key Mitigation Option (Report to the Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, House of Representatives, GAO-08-1080) (September 2008)
"Nationally-recognized studies and GAO’s contacts with a diverse group of industry representatives, nongovernmental organizations, and academic researchers show that key barriers to CCS deployment include (1) underdeveloped and costly CO
2capture technology and (2) regulatory and legal uncertainties over CO 2capture, injection, and storage. Key technological barriers include a lack of experience in capturing significant amounts of CO 2from commercial-scale power plants and the significant cost of retrofitting existing plants that are the single largest source of CO 2emissions in the United States. Regulatory and legal uncertainties include questions about liability concerning CO 2leakage and ownership of CO 2once injected. According to the National Academy of Sciences and other knowledgeable authorities, another barrier is the absence of a national strategy to control CO 2emissions (emissions trading plan, CO2 emissions tax, or other mandatory control of CO 2emissions), without which the electric utility industry has little incentive to capture and store its CO 2emissions. Moreover, according to key agency officials, the absence of a national strategy to control CO 2emissions has also deterred their agencies from resolving other important practical issues, such as how sequestered CO 2will be transported from power plants to appropriate storage locations and how stored CO 2would be treated in a future CO 2emissions trading plan."—What GAO Found.
- United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Coastal Zone Mangement: Measuring Program’s Effectiveness Continues to Be a Challenge (Report to the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate, GAO-08-1045) (September 2008)
"NOAA awards coastal program grants to states generally according to the requirements of the CZMA and congressional direction provided through the annual appropriations process. For the majority of grant funding awarded by NOAA, CZMA regulations require the agency to provide each state a base amount and a proportional share of funding based on a state’s shoreline miles and coastal population. For more than 20 years, because of a congressionally mandated cap of $2 million per state, NOAA has had to redistribute funds from those states whose proportional share would have exceeded the cap to other states whose grant amount is under the cap. As a result, states with longer shorelines or larger coastal populations have essentially received a static level of funding, while states with shorter shorelines or smaller coastal populations have seen increases greater than they likely would have received without the cap. In addition, NOAA’s present practices for awarding coastal zone grants deviate somewhat from its regulations. For example, NOAA is not using a competitive process for awarding coastal zone enhancement grants as required."—What GAO Found.
- United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Disaster Recovery: Past Experiences Offer Insights for Recovering from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav and Other Recent Natural Disasters (Report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate, no. GAO-08-1120) (September 2008)
"GAO was asked to identify insights from past disasters and share them with state and local officials undertaking recovery activities. GAO reviewed six past disasters—the Loma Prieta earthquake in northern California (1989), Hurricane Andrew in south Florida (1992), the Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles, California (1994), the Kobe earthquake in Japan (1995), the Grand Forks/Red River flood in North Dakota and Minnesota (1997), and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf Coast (2005). GAO interviewed officials involved in the recovery from these disasters and experts on disaster recovery. GAO also reviewed relevant legislation, policies, and its previous work."—Why GAO Did This Study.
- United States House of Representatives, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Stagnant Waters: The Legacy of the Bush Administration on the Clean Water Act (October 18, 2008)
"The successes and failures of the Clean Water Act can be succinctly stated. In 1972, only one-third of the nation’s waters met water quality goals. Today, two-thirds of those waters meet water quality goals.
"As a result of Congressional action, the nation has doubled the waters that meet water quality goals, but there is still much work to be done: over one-third of our nation’s waters still fail to meet the water quality goals established under the Clean Water Act over three decades ago.
"While progress thus far is laudable, disturbing recent trends indicate that these efforts have reached a plateau, and that so-called 'improvements' to water quality merely maintain, but do not increase, the percentage of waters, including wetlands, meeting fishable and swimmable standards. Unfortunately, there is also anecdotal evidence of declining water quality conditions throughout the nation, reversing progress toward meeting the goals of the Clean Water Act....
"The Bush administration has presided over the slow, but steady, dismantling of the Clean Water Act. However, unlike earlier overt attempts by Republicans in Congress, the Bush administration’s weakening of the Act has been subtle – eliminating Federal clean water protections in favor of market-based, pro-industry philosophies that will result in dirtier water throughout the United States."—Executive Summary.
- Michael E. Wall, Miriam Rotkin-Ellman & Gina Solomon, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), An Uneven Shield: The Record of Enforcement and Violations Under California’s Environmental, Health, and Workplace Safety Laws (NRDC Report) (October 2008)
"California leads the nation in setting standards to protect the health of families, communities, and the environment. Yet too little is publicly known about how effectively these standards are enforced, or how officials respond when violations occur. To assess the state of enforcement of California’s environmental and public health laws, NRDC examined data on known violations and law enforcement responses under six critical pollution, health, and workplace safety programs. We found that, during the multiyear period analyzed for this report, noncompliance with and enforcement of environmental and health laws varied widely across the state and among the different government authorities responsible for enforcing these laws. We also found that, in some areas, violations were not routinely followed by enforcement actions, and that unlawful conduct was often not penalized."—Executive Summary.