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Reinventing Environmental Regulation Through the Government Performance and Results Act: Are the States Ready for the Devolution?

February 1999

Citation: ELR 10074

Author: Rena I. Steinzor

Editors' Summary: In 1993, Congress passed the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), which requires federal agencies to prepare strategic plans and performance reports for achieving program goals. In a Dialogue published in the October 1998 issue of ELR — The Environmental Law Reporter, Professor Rena Steinzor and law student William Piermattei of the University of Maryland examined the impact of GPRA on EPA and especially on the Agency's strategic planning and budget process.

In the Dialogue being published this month, Professor Steinzor examines GPRA's impact on EPA's relationship with the states. The Dialogue begins by describing the demands that GPRA imposes on EPA. It then examines EPA's relationship with its state counterparts, focusing on the trend toward greater devolution of authority to implement federal programs and exploring the states' ability to meet the demands of this increased responsibility. The Dialogue concludes with an assessment of the tension between devolution and GPRA and warns that the result of this tension could prove destructive in the long run.

Rena Steinzor is an Associate Professor and Director of the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Maryland School of Law. She is grateful for the excellent research assistance provided by William Piermattei, Kathleen Byrne, and Alison Rosso.

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