Constitutional choice for the control of water pollution
- Cite this article as:
- Meiners, R.E. & Yandle, B. Constit Polit Econ (1992) 3: 359. doi:10.1007/BF02393141
Before passage of the Clean Water Act, water pollution was controlled by the common law of nuisance and the law of water rights. Had the common law not been superseded, it might have provided more ecologically sound pollution control than has occurred under the command-and-control statutory regime. The Clean Water Act imposes mechanical definitions and is subject to political interference. In contrast, the principle of the common law lies in its evolutionary and competitive nature, which is consistent with the market process.