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Self Regulation--Has Its Time Come?

November 2003

Citation: 33 ELR 10917

Issue: 11

Author: Al Iannuzzi

The environmental movement has come a long way since the first half of the 20th century, when such forward thinkers as John Muir and Aldo Leopold helped shape worldwide environmental policy with their articles and books on preservation. Despite their good intentions, rapid industrialization still resulted in a slew of nightmares: Love Canal; Times Beach; the air pollution episodes of the 1960s; and Bhopal, India. But Muir and Leopold would at least take some comfort in the fact that legislators reacted by passing tough regulations like the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).1

Environmental regulation grew exponentially from the first days of the modern environmental movement in the 1970s to the present. At the same time, state and federal enforcement agencies were formed to ensure compliance with the regulations. This type of oversight has resulted in cleaner air, water, and land. For industry, the reality has been coping with volumes of new regulations, which has led to a greening movement of sorts. Many companies have even become proactive, implementing pollution prevention programs and trying to design out hazardous materials from their products and processes. Over time, a once unthinkable thing has occurred: environmental groups, once traditional adversaries with industry, have in some instances chosen to partner with companies.

Al Iannuzzi, Ph.D, is employed by Johnson & Johnson as an executive director in the WorldWide Environmental Affairs group where he leads the Pharmaceutical Environment Group, regulatory compliance/outreach initiatives, environmental cost-accounting, and remediation. He is an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001-certified lead auditor and is the author of INDUSTRY SELF-REGULATION AND VOLUNTARY ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE (Lewis Publishers 2002), available at http://www.crcpress.com. He can be reached via e-mail at AIANNUZ@CORUS.JNJ.com.

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