A just-released report describes how state environmental laws could be preempted under changes in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) currently being negotiated by the Bush administration.
The analysis, in the "State Report on Environment," specifies the dangers to state programs on solid waste reduction, clean air, pesticide control and wildlife and natural resources protection. For instance, if a state wanted to require disclosure of toxic ingredients that might have a "significant effect on international trade," the federal government would have to determine if the proposal was above a lowest common international denominator and subject to federal restrictions, including pre-emption. The study is by Katherine Tammaro, a former legislative intern with the center.
The question of state environmental regulation on Indian lands is also examined in the "State Report." At issue is the proposed solid waste facility on the Campo Band of Mission Indians reservation near San Diego which prompted the state to pass legislation calling for "cooperative agreements" to be negotiated between the state and Indian tribes. As described in the article, while the law "tries to balance the state's interest in environmental protection with Indian sovereignty, many Indians feel that (it) is an unnecessary intrusion."
The report also announces the annual 10 Best Bets awards for model state environmental actions of last year, updates state clean air implementation and summarizes other state activities.
Agenda 93, the most comprehensive collection of successful, progressive state policies in each of the center's program areas, has also just been released. It covers voter registration and campaign finance reform; environmental racism and energy efficiency; new investment opportunities for child care; the inner-cities and defense conversion; and sex education, anti- and pro-choice developments and family and medical leave legislation.
for Policy Alternatives is a non-profit center for progressive policy for
state and local government.