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Factors Influencing Participation of Local Governmental Officals in Environmental Policy Making

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This research will explore the factors influencing the nature of the participation (whether or not they participated and how they participated) of local governmental officials in environmental policy making initiatives sponsored by the EPA. Participation by local governmental officials is not give the same attention in the literature as that of citizens, publics, technical experts, or stakeholders. And yet local governments are often a keystone to successfully implementing and enforcing environmental policies. The project will examine three applications from the National Estuary Program: New Hampshire Estuaries, Casco Bay in Maine and Massachusetts Bays. Maine and Massachusetts cases were selected because they achieved very different levels of participation of local governmental officials and they used similar yet not identical procedural structures. New Hampshire was selected because it is in a much earlier phase of operation, yet it draws upon the lessons learned in the Maine and Massachusetts cases. Factors influencing the decision of local governmental officials to participate in national and regional policy making and implementation efforts will be examined through a direct interview protocol and responses to hypothetical policy scenarios. Once it is better understood how local government officials interpret the messages they receive from decision making bodies, it will be possible to generate prescriptive advice for how to approach and involve this body of people in policy making and implementation efforts.

Metadata

EPA/NSF ID:
9613626
Principal Investigators:
Webler, Thomas
Technical Liaison:
Research Organization:
Social Science Research Institute
Funding Agency/Program:
NSF/Valuation
Grant Year:
1996
Project Period:
October 1, 1996 to September 30, 1999
Cost to Funding Agency:
$119,100
Project Status Reports:
In 1997:

Description

This project will explore the factors influencing the nature of the participation (whether or not they participated and how they participated) of local government officials in environmental policymaking initiatives sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency. Participation by local government officials is not given the same attention in the literature as that of citizens, technical experts, or stakeholders. Yet, local governments are often a keystone to successfully implementing and enforcing environmental policies.

This project will examine three applications from the National Estuary Program: New Hampshire Estuaries, Casco Bay in Maine, and Massachusetts Bays. Maine and Massachusetts cases were selected because they achieved very different levels of participation of local government officials, and they used similar yet not identical procedural structures. New Hampshire was selected because it is in a much earlier phase of operation, yet it draws on the lessons learned in the Maine and Massachusetts cases. The factors influencing the decision of local government officials to participate in national and regional policymaking and implementation efforts will be examined through a direct interview protocol and responses to hypothetical policy scenarios. Once it is better understood how local government officials interpret the messages they receive from decisionmaking bodies, it will be possible to generate prescriptive advice for how to approach and involve this body of people in policymaking and implementation efforts.

Project Reports:

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