Streamline - Summer 2013 - (Page 17)

BY DONNA LAWSON, WASTEWATER TECH II Does the End Justify the Means? A critical look at the environmental regulation craze no means new to this country. The first major federal regulation enacted in 1887 was the Interstate Commercial Commission (ICC). The ICC oversaw the railroad system. The industry soon found that by working with the ICC instead of against them, they could double their profits. This money-making arrangement turned out well for business and government then, and has held true in virtually every other regulatory scheme enacted by Congress since. Other regulations and commissions followed such as the Federal Reserve System of 1913, which was enacted to stabilize the country’s financial system and to create a central bank which would ensure the flow of credit and money to foster economic growth. Congress relied on its constitutional authority “to coin money and regulate the value thereof.” REgULATion iS by This moneymaking arrangement turned out well for business and government then, and has held true in virtually every other regulatory scheme enacted by Congress since. More regulatory commissions followed during the early 1900’s, namely the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Radio Commission (now the Federal Communication Commission, FCC) and the Federal Power Commission (now the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC). Congress continued to pass acts during the 1930s strengthening its control on the economy with The Banking Act (1933) which set up the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Security and Change Act (1934) which brought about the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). Moving forward Congress turned its attention to the nation’s workforce and passed the Wagner Act (1935) and set up the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB was used to try to identify communist sympathizers during the Cold War. In 1946, Congress passed the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). This act allowed both businesses and individuals to have some legal recourse to proposed regulation in the court system. The 1960s brought sweeping social changes and Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 establishing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The APA was amended in 1966 to add the Freedom of Information Act, which allowed citizens and corporations to inspect government documents with the exception of banks and bank regulations. The ’70s brought the heyday of regulations, beginning with the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 by Richard Nixon. OSHA was established in 1971 and the Consumer Product Safety Board followed in 1972. Other agencies followed; the Commodity Futures Trade Commission (1974), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the International Trade Commission and the Federal Elections Commission (1975). The APA was amended in 1976 adding “Government in the Sunshine Act” which declared all meetings of “multimember” agencies presumptively open to the public. This put Congress between the public and the regulators. The FTC began awarding public participation funding until the FCC claimed it was beyond their authority. Several bills were considered to expand and formalize public participation funding but none were passed (1976-1978). With the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, Congress voted to restrict the FTC’s intervention funding program and voted to prohibit public participation funding at the NRC, CAB, FERC and the National Highway Traffic 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Summer 2013

From the President
From the Executive Director
Generators – Learning from the Past
Does the End Justify the Means?
Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet!
How is Serving on a Board of an Organization like Owning a Car?
Monitoring Master Meters
2013 Conference Highlights
OilClean from EcoSolutions Naturally Separates Oil from Water
Choosing a Rate Analyst
Ergs, Joules and Other Stuff
Snug and Smug with Solar Power
Fresh Faces: Joey Fagan
Wastewater Math
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
VRWA Mailbag
Welcome New Members
Training Calendar
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/

Streamline - Summer 2013