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Volume [field_article_intvolume_value], Issue [field_article_intissue_value] — May 2012


Assessing the Durability of Vehicle Emissions Systems: A Survey of Emission Component-Related Defect Reports in North America

by Kevin L. Fast

Editors' Summary: EPA imposes strict emissions and durability standards on vehicle manufacturers today. While these standards have become more stringent over time, the regulatory requirements for demonstrating compliance with these standards have relaxed. In this Article, Kevin L. Fast identifies and describes this relevant regulatory framework governing the reporting of emission-related component defects in North America. He provides descriptions and data on nearly 600 defect reports prepared by 6 of the largest vehicle manufacturers currently in the marketplace. Finally, he provides a comparative analysis linking the results of his data analysis to other regulatory programs for monitoring the in-use performance of motor vehicles.

Citizen-Friendly Approaches to Environmental Governance

by David L. Markell

Editors' Summary: Numerous commentators have urged that government increase opportunities for citizen participation as a way to advance a variety of public policy goals (enhancing government legitimacy, promoting more informed government decisions, etc.). In this Article, David L. Markell explores the experience of an international decisionmaking process that relies heavily on citizen participation, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation's (CEC) citizen submissions process, through the lens of the procedural justice literature, which seeks to understand the reasons why citizens are satisfied with decisionmaking processes. He offers some thoughts about the design and operation of the CEC process in terms of its effectiveness in promoting citizen participation and also considers more generally the design of government processes intended to engage citizens and to promote meaningful public participation in governance.

Time to Get Real: The Necessity of Legal Accountability for Responsible Transnational Commerce

by Richard Reibstein

Editor's Summary: Guaranteeing a greener, more humane, transnational commerce will require new approaches from government, international bodies, civil society, and corporations. The challenges posed by national sovereignty, corruption, and the traditional business model have made greening the worldwide supply chain difficult to accomplish. In this Article, Richard Reibstein examines these challenges and proposes ways in which they might be addressed. Using the Bhopal, India, gas leak disaster as a case study, he explains the need for accountability and reasons why the current system is inadequate. He then offers specific proposals for governments and corporations interested in greener, more humane trade. He ends the Article with suggestions for new approaches to trade and a new model of corporate behavior.

Survey Says: Army Corps No Scalian Despot

by Kim Diana Connolly

Editors' Summary: Justice Antonin Scalia and others have described the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers'(the Corps') administration of the CWA §404 permitting process as burdensome and inefficient. Empirical data gathered from the Corps, however, do not bear out this assessment. In this Article, Kim Diana Connolly evaluates data collected from Corps Customer Service Surveys as well as the apparent disconnect between applicant experiences and the public's negative perception of the permitting process. She begins the Article with an overview of the Corps' regulatory permitting process, then lays out the history of and context for the Corps' Customer Service Surveys. Next, she summarizes available responses from various districts and sets forth some concluding remarks and recommendations.