Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Using Indirect Regulation to Reduce Environmental Damage From Farming

September 2019

Citation: 49 ELR 10831

Issue: 9

Author: Edwin Kisiel

Scientists have found that the planet is hurtling toward a mass extinction of insects. Insects are necessary from an agricultural standpoint because they are the pollinators that farmers need in order to grow crops. However, pesticide and fertilizer (agrochemical) use is a significant factor in the steep decline of insect populations. Farmers are famously resistant to regulation, and agrochemical use is a largely unregulated area. However, farms contribute a significant amount of air and water pollution, especially through agrochemical use. Programs such as “Swampbuster” and “Sodbuster” have been very effective at curbing the decline of highly erodible land and wetlands. These programs use indirect regulation to accomplish their purpose by conditioning receipt of subsidies on not developing highly erodible soil or wetlands. The success of the Swampbuster and Sodbuster programs shows that the most effective way to regulate farms to reduce agrochemical use and support pollinator populations would also be through indirect regulation. This Comment proposes conditioning farmers’ receipt of subsidies on their compliance with new regulations on agrochemical uses as well as mitigation measures.

Major Edwin Kisiel serves in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

Download Article >>>