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®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

Law Review Article Advocates More Effective EPA Regulation by Information
An article in the Harvard Environmental Law Review, by William F. Pedersen, advocates "social cost disclosure programs" as a means of regulating by information disclosure. The article defines this type of program as one that requires regulated entities to disclose information (e.g., pollutant emissions) that will urge non-federal governments to consider regulation to reduce the social cost being addressed, and will pressure the creators of that cost to consider voluntary action to reduce it. This, in other words, is regulation by information. The article, entitled "Regulation and Information Disclosure: Parallel Universes and Beyond", focuses on EPA's TRI program as an inefficient example of such a program, and provides suggestions as to how this program could be improved. The overall recommendation of the article is best summarized in its last paragraph: "Publicizing the sources of a socially undesirable activity can reduce its extent faster and less intrusively then reliance on a regulatory approach." This statement is accurate; and it emphasizes the importance of the Data Quality Act, which imposes new standards on the quality of information disseminated by federal agencies.

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