Environmental legislative standstill and bureaucratic politics in the USA

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In spite of growing environmental problems in the USA, an environmental legislative standstill has been prevalent in US politics for about 20 years. Several studies on lawmaking have argued that this legislative standstill has been caused by conflicts among elected officials, such as legislators and the president (institutional gridlock). This paper suggests a different view on the environmental legislative standstill in terms of bureaucratic politics. Using a case study on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding hazardous waste disposal and the Superfund, the current study contends that the EPA's collaborative efforts to resolve interest conflict expansion have led to legislative standstill.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-58
Number of pages19
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • bureaucratic politics
  • cognitive overload
  • environmental conflicts
  • hazardous waste
  • institutional gridlock
  • legislative standstill
  • US Environmental Protection Agency


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