How should air pollution be brought under control? Should "effluent fees" or pollution taxes be imposed? Should specific standards be legislated, backed by enforceable sanctions against violators, restricting or banning outright various sources of pollution? Would an effective "mix" of these policies work better in the real world? Or should radically new mechanisms be devised? These are among the questions that are confronted directly, in the form of specific and actual cases, by the contributors to this volume, which is addressed more to citizens-at-large than to specialists in circumscribed academic or administrative niches. Put another way, the book is more concerned with here-and-now realities and manageable solutions than with lobbying for particular disciplinary jurisdictions or for rigid doctrines. As its editor writes: "Instead of analyzing the merits and weaknesses of effluent fees and standards in detail, the authors in this volume address the issue of alternative approaches to controlling air pollution.
As such, they are not concerned with questions of economic doctrine or issues of social justice but rather with entirely pragmatic questions of implementation and whether it is possible to devise some scheme that permits the simplicity of standards but contains a safety valve of fines or fees that obviates the need for recontracting if the standards turn out to be excessively stringent. Thus by examining in some detail the record of air pollution control since the passage of the Clean Air Act of 1970 and by considering some concrete proposals for change, the authors in this volume make a major contribution toward the adoption of more rational means of controlling air pollution."
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