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Marine Facilities and Water Quality: Regulatory Versus Voluntary Approaches

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This research examines the influence of traditional regulatory and voluntary approaches upon the willingness of marine facilities to address potential harms to water quality. Traditional regulatory approaches rely on enforcement of mandatory provisions while voluntary approaches use noncoercive means to engender voluntary actions to address potential harms within the context of broader laws. This research shows that mandatory regulations are not always necessary, but at the same time voluntary approaches are not always sufficient to motivate action. Given this, regulators need to consider the mix of approaches and other steps to achieve regulatory objectives. The latter include greater levels of information, technical assistance, and funding; stronger involvement of trade associations as conduits for information; and, in particular, the fostering of a collective sense of obligation to address potential harms.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Center for American Politics and Public Policy, Department of Political Science, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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