Indirectly, at least, the Constitution provides the federal government with power to regulate on behalf of environ-mental quality, but it also sets limits on the power. It sets limits, likewise, on the regulatory power of the states. What it does not do, at present, is grant the ‘‘constitutional right to a clean environment’’ so avidly sought in the hey-day of environmental concern, the decade of the 1970s. Thus, the one unique aspect of the general topic consid-ered here has no doctrinal standing; the remaining aspects are matters of doctrine, but they are not unique to envi-ronmental regulation. It is quite sufﬁcient, then, merely to illustrate the wide range of constitutional issues that arise in the context of environmental regulation, and to suggest the nature of the debate on the question of a con-stitutional right to an environment of good quality.
Publication Information & Recommended Citation
Krier, James E. "Environmental Regulation and the Constitution." In vol. 2 of Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, edited by Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst, and Dennis J. Mahoney, 637-639. New York: Macmillan, 1986.