Book review on pollution control in the united states

Book Review: Environmental Science


Davies and Mazurek (the authors of ‘ Pollution Control in the United States’) have evaluated the activities that we have done that contribute to pollution in the past that affect as now and also in the future. The evaluation of past and the speculation of what will happen in the future will help us in coming up with measures to curb and reduce all or some of the activities that contribute to polluting our world. This book covers how the past environmental laws and regulations have worked or failed to work as, well as the analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of those laws and regulations as well as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). This book addresses the steps which America’s pollution control programs can be measured. The evaluation of these pollution control programs can be used to grade other American government programs in education, agriculture and housing. The authors have assessed the American air and water pollution control programs as well as the measures that have been taken to reduce the risks of other pollutant agents. Pollution has contributed greatly to the degradation of our environment, reduced land production (food), increased diseases (e. g. polluted air increases bronchitis infection) and climate change just to name a few. Therefore, it is important that reliable and sustainable measures of Pollution reduction and pollution elimination are put into place by the responsible authorities.

The book is divided into two sections; the first part addresses evaluation the mechanisms and bodies that have been put to place in the control of pollution. The second part of the book grades the population control system while using the evaluations in the first part of the book. The authors have talked on the dangers pollution poses, the measures that can be taken to reduce pollution levels, comparison with other countries, and ability to tackle future problems. The evaluation process
The first part of the book starts with the evaluation of the pollution control law which has a property of ‘ command and control’ which means that the law uses penalties in handling pollution related offences as opposed to the use of positive incentives in handling the issue. It has also been noted that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) statutory makeup is fragmented, such that it is constituted of several unrelated laws passed at different time with varied objectives. This approach has not tackled pollution control issues conclusively since, the pollution control needs an integrated approach. The negative effects of fragmentation are; the inability to set proper priorities and bureaucracy. The lack of sufficient resources to initiate all the relevant pollution control measures has also been a major contribution America losing the battle against pollution control, this is an fact that William Ruckelshaus(served twice as an EPA administrator) complained about.  The federal courts have been very supportive in the pollution reduction measures, but EPA has not been supportive via the offer of factual information that can be used in preventing pollution. For example, in the Corrosion-proof case EPA failed to come up factual data on the toxicity of asbestos substitutes and EPA also failed to come up with the cost implication of putting the regulation into place. This shows that EPA did not do a thorough research on the measures that are needed in controlling asbestos which is pollutant to the environment. The general public has been up to date with some of the negative effects of pollution and they are willing to take the necessary measures to curb the vice, therefore the EPA in conjunction with the government should do the relevant research and initiate public sensitization programs on how to reduce pollution. This is not to say that the EPA and the government have been docile on the issue of stopping pollution since the EPA, the government in conjunction with non-governmental organizations have been sponsoring pollution reduction measures such as tree planting, the use of renewable energy and recycling. The government has also been in the front line of fighting pollution through banning the dumping of toxic wastes into water bodies such as rivers among other legislations. It is also a legal requirement that solid waste mast be treated to reduce its toxic levels before releasing the waste into water bodies. Technology has also played an important role in reducing pollution whereby factories emitting toxic gasses can install a gas filter, hence ensuring that the emissions toxicity is reduced. Private corporations that have contributed highly to polluting the environment have been doing rigorous research into the measures and technologies that are less pollutant examples are lead free petroleum for vehicles, Hybrid and electric vehicles, solar energy and many others.
The authors have stressed on the need for the government take EPA more seriously by allocating it with the necessary resources it needs in order for it to smoothly come with pollution control mechanisms as well as carry out research on ways of eliminating or reducing pollution levels in America, as well as forecasting on potential future pollutants. In addition, the Pollution Control Program should be integrated (the structure) as opposed to its current fragmented state so as to deal with all pollutant agents in a consolidated manner instead of handling each pollutant agent individually. The government should also work closely with EPA in ensuring that their recommendations are put into practice as well as empowering them with some powers related to pollution control.
This book has looked into pollution control in depth and has given workable and realistic solutions. However, this book has not looked into the issue of soil and noise pollution which are also quite detrimental to the environment. Therefore, the EPA should do an evaluation on the extent of soil and noise pollution, so that they can be able to come up with workable solutions for future recommendation to the government.


The work done by Davies and Jan Mazurek in this book is exemplary and their findings and recommendations on how to handle pollution can be a great asset to the American government, environmental programs, the education sector, the ordinary population, as well as the business fraternity. The authors have observed the strengths and weaknesses that are within the anti-pollution mechanisms, the inefficiency of these mechanisms, and their wrong prioritization of issues. This book gives important information on the necessary changes that are required not only America’s pollution control system but in all pollution control systems in the world.


Davies, J. C., & Mazurek, J. (1998). Pollution control in the United States: Evaluating the system. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future.