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Stormwater management the American way: why no policy transfer?

Dept. of Politics, University of Liverpool, Roxby Building, Liverpool, UK

Special Issues: Urban Greening for Low Carbon Cities

From the 1940s until the 1980s the federal government gradually extended its authority over the structure of the American stormwater management system. The goal was to improve the water quality of the nation’s waterways by regulating the pollution loads entering the system, primarily through the use of gray infrastructure. However during the1980s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began to explore new approaches toward the regulation of stormwater pollution. Instead of focusing only on gray mechanisms, the EPA began developing and promoting the use of low impact development (LID) techniques as an element municipal governments could use to achieve their total maxim daily load of pollutants allowable under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit system. In light of the incentive offered by the EPA for the use of LID in the management of stormwater, it should be expected to provide a perfect area to observe policy transfer between federal, state and local governments; but it does not. This article will establish why the EPA began promoting a green approach to stormwater management and why this has not led to a widespread transfer of best management practices in the ways the literatures associated with federalism and policy transfer would suggest.
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Copyright Info: © 2015, David P. Dolowitz, licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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