Perceptions of the Regulated Community in Environmental Policy: The View from Below
Review of Policy Research
Discussions in environmental policy often focus on the highest levels of decision making and action while paying scant attention to those individuals on the front lines. Among those frequently overlooked are the individuals at regulated facilities who interact with government regulators on a frequent basis. Interviews with nearly two dozen facility personnel in Virginia yield findings that challenge common perceptions of the relationships between facility personnel and inspectors. In particular, 86 percent of facility personnel, representing a range of regulated facilities from prisons to landfills to dry cleaners, said their interactions with inspectors were positive. Approximately 70 percent of them said that they trust inspectors and provided evidence of trust in their stories. The ramifications of these findings for environmental policy could be potentially significant because facility personnel are presumed to be adversarial, if not outright hostile, and this assumption impacts the design and implementation of environmental regulations.
Policy Studies Organization
Pautz, Michelle C., "Perceptions of the Regulated Community in Environmental Policy: The View from Below" (2009). Political Science Faculty Publications. 22.