ABSTRACT

The role of the state in dealing with environmental harm is much more circumscribed than the policing and regulation of social harms such as street crime. When it comes to environmental issues, the tendency has been to emphasize effi ciency and facilitation, rather than control. At a practical level the costs of monitoring and enforcement and compliance, in relation to traditional regulatory standards-setting and the role of government can be expensive. The complexity of procedures, and complaints, particularly by businesses about ‘green tape’ (akin to bureaucratic ‘red tape’), has been accompanied by efforts to streamline processes and to decrease formal regulatory controls as much as possible.