Regional & Inter-state Environmental Planning

sipfinalso2img4The discussion in class covered different aspects of Regional & Inter-state planning. Based on this discussion and your own readings write a page shedding the light on: (i) what do you think inter-state planning actually means? (ii) Why the examples mentioned in the readings good/bad and (iii) provide suggestions to improve the objectives and mandates for such inter-state planning.

Collaborative planning emerged from both theory and practice. Experience shows that participation remains problematic and less effective than we, as environmental planners, would desire. Mandarano highlight the differences between the output and outcome in such a process. In one-page support or critic Mandarano’s approach and end with one example form the US or the world (of your choice) where the quality of people’s participation made a difference in accepting, rejecting or reshaping a mega project.


8 thoughts on “Regional & Inter-state Environmental Planning

  1. I think interstate planning is planning that addresses issues that impact two or more states, or actions of a state(s) impacting another state(s). Interstate planning is often initiated on specific issues: a shared body of water, air pollution created by one state and affecting another, coordinated economic development plan, etc. Interstate planning is unique in that its scope is greater than the provincial level, but unlike federal level planning, interstate planning occurs between two or more states, but not for all states in the country.

    Interstate planning is region and geography specific, making specific planning efforts unique to their location, hence why a federal level planning effort does not exist. The specific issues of the Colorado River water rights have nothing to do with two states working together to build a single airport that would serve a major urban center in each of the states. Interstate planning issues are often conducted by special organizations created by the states and given the authority and mandate to accomplish the planning effort.

    The Interstate Environmental Commission (Tri-state Water and Air Pollution Control Agency – New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) was a good example of a typical organization and reason for an interstate planning agency. The three states being in close proximity to each other produce pollution that impacts themselves and each other. They share a common body of water that if polluted, they all impact negatively from it. By acknowledging their shared geography and common agenda, the states have opted to have a specific agency perform monitoring for all three states. This avoids redundant agencies that otherwise all three states would have to operate, as well as providing a more holistic management of the area.

    To improve on the interstate planning system, it would be interesting to see the federal government provide guidelines on interstate planning. This would be beneficial so that all intestate planning efforts/organizations could be catalogued, and their efforts monitored. In addition if the federal government encouraged interstate planning agencies to follow specific organizational structure and procedure, in a manner not unlike that of non-profit agencies. Particular mandates such as reporting to a national office of interstate planning could be useful for similar initiatives to learn from one another.

    Collaborative planning in the United States has been effective in certain cases. “Highway Revolts” are instances where local opposition has been successful in preventing construction of a freeway. Greenwich Village in New York City, Hayes Valley in San Francisco, are two examples of neighborhoods that prevented highways from being built through their communities. There are many others examples of successful highway revolts.

    Communities have many reasons to want to reject highways. Highways have proven to divide communities by causing a physical separation, while also deteriorating the livability around the highway itself. Sometimes the effect of stopping a highway project is that it is not built at all, or the highway is built elsewhere, and in some cases, or investment is placed in to alternative modes of transportation.

    Communities with the capacity to effectively organize and successfully wage a campaign to resist major infrastructure projects often are more affluent communities, well educated, with strong sense of identity attached to the neighborhood, or emphasis on maintaining neighborhood character in order to maintain property values. Being affluent yields greater success due to advantages education, political power, expendable money and time, and property ownership. The inverse is true for low income communities.

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  2. Based on the readings and the discussion in class, interstate planning is a process of coordinating and encompassing a larger area beyond one state’s boundaries. As Hall discusses, environmental issues such as air and water pollution, wildlife habitat, urban sprawl and greenhouse gases do not obey arbitrary political state lines. In the United States the need for interstate cooperation causes tension between the federal government, regional agencies, state agencies, and local governments. States want the right to dictate law and control over their area and prefer not to have the federal government intervene, but environmental issues that cross borders require widespread action that must actually represent the good of people living in many different states.
    One of the arguments against interstate planning is that citizens in other areas do know have the knowledge of the state or area. There is also the concern that these citizens are not paying taxes directly to that state and should not have influence in how that state’s government funds projects. The lack of knowledge about other states can be overcome by public processes that fully educate all citizens about the issues. For issues that are directly on state borders it is unlikely that the area on the other side of the “fence” would actually vary that much geographically, economically or demographically. There are of course instances where large states, such as Texas, vary drastically even across the state itself, but fearing the lack of knowledge or understanding should not prevent states from attempting to facilitate interstate planning in regards to environmental issues.
    States attempt to pass off the detrimental effects of industry in what Hall describes as “political externalities”. He explains that states will purposefully build industrial facilities, landfills or waste processing sites near borders in order to avoid the financial and political burden, known as the “state line syndrome”. States will also pass laws that require higher smokestacks so that air pollution is reduced locally, keeping the voting citizens happy while producing larger negative effects elsewhere. I particularly like his example of state parks or natural areas in one state that can be enjoyed by tourists and visitors from other states, but if the state decides to make changes to this natural area only the citizens of that state have a say in the process instead of all who use and enjoy the area. Another great example of why interstate communication and coordination is required.
    One of the major improvements needed with interstate planning is to implement laws that directly address pollution and other environmental issues instead of having to process through the nuisance law. Attempting to prove that the nuisance law is applicable to environmental cases is not sufficient as it usually only measures economical impacts and does not weigh factors such as habitat destruction or ecosystem health. From Hall’s analysis it also appears that Federal courts that handle environmental interstate cases require more education and information provided to reach fair decisions on these cases. Too often are environmental cases being dismissed due to the court’s inability to comprehend the scientific data that is presented.
    It is disappointing that the EPA mostly acts as an arbitrator between states and does not take formal action. If agencies have no teeth in the system it diminishes the value that their regulations and authority have over state activities. To further enhance interstate environmental planning we need more regional and interdepartmental agencies that have influence on policy, but also have the ability to regulate and enforce policy.
    Mandarano’s approach for evaluating collaborative planning processes was very thorough and interesting. The main concept of building trust and relationships with all stakeholders and especially the opposing parties is not a new concept, but is very powerful when completed tactfully. I also appreciated the breakdown of output and outcome as two separate requirements to analyze success. As Lulin discussed in class, both of these layers are needed as the create a foundation of trust and incorporate social factors that are often ignored in other success structures.
    The example provided of the Harbor Estuary Program (HEP) and the Port Authority was very complex and highlighted how becoming friends with your enemy can pay off for all parties. The Port Authority’s purchase of land to conserve natural coastal habitats was very beneficial and such a large purchase probably could not have been accomplished by a nonprofit or government agency. However, their main objective by purchasing the land was to deter the HEP from changing wetland mitigation policy. A beneficial outcome was achieved, but at the cost of losing legislation that could have prevented detrimental projects by other companies or agencies.
    It was also interesting that as the HEP and Port Authority worked together it enabled the HEP to conduct more research and data to be able to provide accurate information to the Port Authority. This push for data and information can often be delayed in projects if there is no immediate need. This is also a reciprocal benefit as it allows the opposing party to fully understand the issue at hand and not just dismiss the environmental concerns as a blockade in the project process.
    A local example of regional planning and public process is the Arcata Wastewater Treatment Plant at The Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. In 1975 a new sewage pipeline was proposed to run through McKinleyville, Arcata and Eureka. Arcata residents pushed back due to environmental concerns. In combination with research from a professor at Humboldt University, the city decided to create their own innovative marshland that acts as secondary and tertiary treatment of the sewage. This is a good example how a city determined that the process that the neighboring cities were considering was not beneficial to their citizens and created a new plan. Citizens reacted promptly and pushed the city to make an environmentally minded decisions. Proof that citizens can positively affect projects when there is data to support the alternative plan for the project.

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  3. The inter-state planning is a process to allow neighboring state decision-makers and the public to educate each other, share concerns, and understand the environmental impact of the discharge. Hall’s paper shows why interstate Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) policy is crucial and how it can benefit parties. The decisions made by one state often impact environmental quality in neighboring states, but consideration of such impacts and engagement of affected citizens is usually lacking. This paper gives the example of British Petroleum Lake Michigan pollution fight among Chicago, Indiana, and Chicago. Indiana issued a permit without opposition, but Chicago was opposed to the idea. I agree with the author that EIA facilitated the use of transboundary EIA as a way to address the challenge of transboundary environmental harms under international law. The interstate EIA duty will apply to these states actions and decisions allowing private actions. This assessment itself would contain not only environmental impact information but also cost-benefit analysis that includes costs externalized on other states. The Great Lakes example was a shared responsibility of neighboring states and urged the states and the U.S. Congress to consider new policies to meet their shared environmental goals better. However, this is one occasion of many another inter-state environmental conflict we go through, and this paper conveys the message as if we have interstate EIA as the ultimate solution for the problem. This example only includes three states, but, for example, Colorado has six neighboring states (i.e., Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska) which makes it even more complicated. The author does a great job of trying to answer “Who would enact an interstate EIA policy?” or “When would an interstate EIA need to be prepared?” or “What should be required of an interstate EIA?” and also covers why we need interstate EIA. Hall repeatedly emphasizes the importance of public participation and this paper can improve the overall objective by providing more specific methods of how to involve more public participation in interstate EIA process.

    In the United States, state law refers to the law of each separate U.S. state, and fifty states have different sovereigns, constitutions, governments, and courts. Smaller countries like South Korea has overarching government and rules a whole nation. As a peninsula, South Korea is surrounded by water on three sides, and the only country with a land border to South Korea is North Korea. As we discussed in class, natural resources do not follow the boundary between states or nations. The South Defense Ministry closely monitor the satellite footage that shows if a North Korean dam near the border may overflow which puts South Korea at immediate risk. The water level at the North’s dam bordering South Korea has risen to near full capacity in June 2016. An abrupt discharge of water from the dam could flood South Korea’s downriver. Six South Koreans were killed in September 2009 after North Korea released a massive amount of water from the borer dam without prior warning. Furthermore, we need intercountry planning to minimize the life and property lost among the countries.

    Mandarano gives a case study of Habitat Workgroup of the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program that highlights the utility of this evaluation framework in assessing the quality of critical outputs and the presence of outcomes and observed relationship between process, outputs, and outcomes (changes in both social and environmental conditions). In my understanding, outputs are tangible items such as plans, projects while results are knowledge transferred and behaviors changed. The author recognizes the limitation of evaluating the environmental impacts of collaborative efforts. Overall, the author thoroughly reviews the existing literature instead of conducting innovative research. The case study also shows that working with opponents (i.e., port authority and habitat workgroup) sometimes lead to creative outcomes resulting from a conflict that was handled efficiently through extensive discussion. This observation seems like a common sense rather than an innovative, driven conclusion. Mandarano says through this one project alone, the acreage of habitat restored to date would increase by 50 percent, which is a favorable outcome. In reality, not all projects are thriving as the example in this paper. In the end, the author says the availability of resources was a critical factor in the realization of environmental outcomes, which is a true statement in general. In most study fields, looking at previous literature or studies is a typical process, and the more resources help authors to identify the gap and limitation quickly.

    In June 2017, South Korea had a quality of citizen’s participation that made a difference in a mega project. During the presidential campaign early this year, Moon pledged to phase out coal and nuclear energy and increase the share of renewable energy. After taking office, the Moon administration suspended the construction of two nuclear power plants and proposed establishing ad hoc committee on managing public debate and a deliberative opinion poll on whether to permanently abandon the two new nuclear power plants. Public opinion and simplified polls have its limit in reflecting the complexity of social issues. The raw public opinion could be vulnerable to manipulation through the news headlines and general public’s apathy. The process of deliberative polling on nuclear energy policy proceeded in the following steps. First, the committee conducted four rounds of surveys in total, including initial phone interviews of about 20,000 people, which allowed the board to follow up on changes of opinion. Second, the committee randomly selected 500 people, considering demographics in South Korea, and invited them for deliberation. Third, the panel provided briefing materials prepared by both pro- and anti-nuclear energy organizations to the participants. Fourth, the board offered lectures by competing experts followed by Q&A sessions, and then the participants discussed the issue face to face in small groups. In the end, the construction of two nuclear reactors resumed by defying Moon’s original intention by respecting the citizen’s deliberative polling on nuclear energy policy in a democratic way.

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  4. With policies changing from state to state, Inter-state planning for the environment involves a set of stakeholders that pertain to a particular areas which share a resource geographically. This could be a water body that flows through two or multiple areas or a forest or protected area or such similar cases, where a resource is shared across state borders which follow different policies and governance systems. The planning commission holds the ability to make necessary decisions about approach, activities, and impact of projects concerning to this shared resource. This often results in a joint decision-making process with concerned representatives from each state.

    The Annual report of the Interstate Environmental Commision of New York-New Jersey-Connecticut shows how the estuary as a shared resource has been a prime concern for protection and restoration mutually for the 3 states. The three states have their own systems and take a joint effort at maintaining the health of the estuary. Even though their method of helping restore the estuary is different, there is a collective effort at the process. The example of the Estuary provided a good insight into how successful collaborations work and how the benefits of such collaborations are shared by the three states. It also shows how the community can be educated by the simple process of involvement in the process. The reading, however, falls short in showing a case where the collaboration was unsuccessful and since most such collaborations involve different stakeholders with different priorities, it is highly unlikely that most collaborations turn out successfully. The reading could have given a detailed analysis of the issues in concern and the comments of the representatives of the three states involved. It is also unclear how the financial planning for the process has been carried out. The successful intervention, the IEC should require equal representation from the three states and equalized missions and goals across the three states so that there are no shortfalls in the event of unprecedented disasters.

    The paper by Mandarano shows how collaborative planning emerged from the theory and practice of alternative dispute resolution. The reading suggests a distinct difference between the output and the outcomes of projects. This shows that in spite of discussion, collaboration can result in different results to the mission of the collaboration and it is often important that even though a specific output is not achieved, the outcome of such a collaboration is never the less, important.

    The Richmond Greenway and Elm Playlot are quite fascinating results of community engagement to shape projects. Headed by Toody Maher, the brain behind the Pogo Parks initiative, the institution engages local residents to bring in a sense of ownership to projects, to build and maintain it. The Elm Playlot was a half-acre plot in the middle of a Richmond neighborhood which was called dull, dirty and dangerous. The City of Richmond installed new pre-fabricated play equipment as a solution to this problem, only to have it vandalized in a week. The Pogo Park initiative involved the community to later understand that the problem was that the houses across the park were abandoned and invited illicit activities. This helped the City to restore the houses make it available for reoccupation. Later the institution involved the community in the restoration of the park, having the residents around to plan, redesign and rebuild the park. This is an example of an initiative started by an unaffiliated institute to bring together the CIty and the community. The output of this project was a great community park for the residents to enjoy, and the outcome is a better understanding and involvement of the City and upbringing of locals to support and engage in community building.

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  5. Inter-state planning involves the collaborative planning between two or more adjacent states. It addresses the environmental impact of certain activities in one state which would have influence on other states or the planning on boundaries of states. It requires partnership between federal government, state government, local government and local stakeholders. The problems it sought to solve include chemical discharge from factories, a shared body of water, air pollution and deterioration of wetlands, etc. Inter-state planning needs help from federal legislation, federal, state and local government agencies and the participation of local stakeholders.

    One of the reasons why we need inter-state planning is that without it, there is access to allow public from two different states to fully trust each other or to educate each other so that they can share their concerns. When the BP Oil Company got the permit for the discharge of more chemicals into Lake Michigan from Indiana, Illinois raised the doubt for its environmental impact because it is at the downstream of Lake Michigan. Chicago commissioned a report showing that BP could upgrade its wastewater facility for less than 1% of its total project cost. However, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources claimed that there would not be “a problem [locally or lakewide] as a result of this discharge” (Egan). Although the scientist noted that the additional discharge is a very little number compare to the amount already in the lake, the public’s concerns of Illinois was not addressed. I think it is because there is no formal collaborative assessment between two states so that people would not trust the hearing result from one single state government which is also the source state. The conclusion we can draw from this case is that there is urgent need to establish the statutory language and official governmental agencies for inter-state planning.

    From my personal perspective, I really appreciated Noah D. Hall’s advice on crafting an Interstate Environmental Impact Assessment Policy. He claimed that interstate environmental impact assessment laws should be enacted by states individually. It basically eliminates the obscurity of political duty and avoids the political dispute. To avoid the risk of free riders, the state “would only extend a substantive duty to mitigate interstate environmental impacts to those states that also have a substantive duty law. This approach tries to make all the states participate in the collaborative planning by regulating all the states implementing inter-state planning can help each other but not the free riding states. However, if one state is always the source state in all cases and it does not need mitigation from other states, it may choose not to implement inter-state planning. Therefore, a better way is to establish federal inter-state environmental impact assessment laws in order to make the inter-state planning mandatory for every state.

    Mandarano presents an evaluation of collaborative environmental planning outputs and outcomes based on the New York-New Jersey Estuary Program. It is a program established by the Congress, the National Estuary Program(NEP) that encourages the collaborative partnerships between federal, state, and local governments and stakeholders. He gives interesting definitions of outputs and outcome. Outputs are the plans, projects and etc. that are produced during the planning process by the collaborative effort, while the outcomes are “the effects of the collaborative process and its outputs on changing social and environmental conditions” (Mandarano). I agreed with most of his opinion but I think there is something more about outcomes. Outputs are just the plans and projects designed by human aiming to achieve some good environmental impacts. However, whether these outputs can really achieve those goals are still in doubt. Therefore, I would define outcomes not as the outputs but as the results on changing social and environmental conditions. On the other hand, the whole evaluation is justified in presenting its social outcomes and environmental outcomes. The former one includes social capital, intellectual capital, political capital, innovation, institutional changes, and institutional capacity. The latter contains restoration projects implemented, land protected from development, changes in environmental parameters and perception of improved environmental quality. These outcomes are fairly good according to the evidence Mandarano provides in his paper while the classifications are also reasonable because they have included most important results when assessing environmental impacts.

    The example I am going to talk about is what I have mentioned in my second week’s paper. Large-scale protests whose theme is anti-PX have already happened in more than 7 Chinese. PX is a poisonous but usually safe chemical in the workshop of factory, functioning as transit chemical for many industrial synthesis. The first time frightened people rejected it was because of ignorance of chemistry and industry. But later on the protest mainly happened due to distrust of government. Under the pressure of citizens, many city governments called off factory construction plans or pledged not to allow factories to produce PX.

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  6. Inter-state planning means that two or more state governments, or stakeholders from multiple states, come to the table to negotiate the terms of a project or environmental impact that crosses state lines. The kinds of things that cross state lines are pollution, water, air, animals, the water-borne elements of soil fertility, geological resources, and more. State boundaries are artificial constructs and natural resources and impacts do not stay neatly within them, our environmental laws do not reflect this. The sovereignty of states is an artificial human construct and human communities are dependent upon each other within and between states and the natural resources that spread between. It is a more accurate depiction of reality to have laws that allow us to manage and mitigate environmental impacts that have affects outside of the immediate jurisdiction.

    Our state and federal laws form the precedent for all action and consequence within our nation and if we do not have laws in place that address the real state of the world they become irrelevant. The discord between objective reality and the subjective human reality becomes intolerable when our laws do not address action and consequences across multiple scales. For instance, until recently it was illegal for people to smoke marijuana because it was an illegal drug and dangerous to themselves and others and they could go to jail or pay fines for this action. On the flip side, big corporations like Chevron can build oil refineries and pollute the air which sickens people nearby and not be held liable. This kind of discrepancy between the consequences of human action on the environments of other humans is what we’re addressing when we create a framework for planning around environmental impacts and that framework should extend between states.

    I thought the example of water pollution from Indiana affecting the people of Illinois was pretty good because it wasn’t necessarily about the environmental impact, which it turned out was negligible, it was about how the incident could have been improved by providing a framework or process for addressing environmental concerns. “Concern” is the big point of contention. Sometimes people’s concerns are based in emotional fear rather than their understanding of the particulars of the case. The process is important not only to give citizens a method of protest, but also a way to communicate with them on behalf of project developers.

    Collaborative planning emerged from both theory and practice. Experience shows that participation remains problematic and less effective than we, as environmental planners, would desire. Mandarano highlight the differences between the output and outcome in such a process. In one-page support or critic Mandarano’s approach and end with one example form the US or the world (of your choice) where the quality of people’s participation made a difference in accepting, rejecting or reshaping a mega project.

    I support the concept of collaborative planning. Though complex and time consuming, I think the only way we can have positive relationships with our environments is if we foster positive relationships between the people who surround and care for them. One of the key factors in whether a restoration project succeeds or fails is whether the surrounding community cares about it. People care about the things that they find beautiful, the things they love, the groups that love them back. Stakeholder groups are the personification of the community values and if we don’t treat the biggest actors in the local area as if they are factors in the landscape then environmental actions will not be successful. Even if after a lot of negotiation, the only thing that changes about a project is that stakeholders felt heard and were engaged in the process, I think that’s a valuable outcome.

    In California there’s a lot of discourse around the proposed high speed rail project. The project has a lot of support from urban communities who value public transportation and the decongestion of our highways. On the other hand the project has a lot of push back from rural communities who don’t want it taking away from farmland that provides jobs and would prefer that the money goes to dam projects to provide water for agriculture. I know that the route has been moved several times due to stakeholder involvement, for better or for worse, and that certain sections are still uncertain. Despite the hotly contested project, I believe it would be far worse not to involve the stakeholders. They would feel unjustly taken advantage of and protest in a variety of ways. Even if they aren’t 100% satisfied with the outcome they won’t feel like they weren’t a part of (and partly responsible for) the outcome of the project. By participating in the process, stakeholders assume some ownership of the outcome, for better or for worse, and that ownership translates into care for and support of the project down the line.

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  7. Inter-state planning involves the collaboration of two or more states in addressing issues that cross state borders. Inter-state planning is important since one state’s activity may impact another state. This is especially true of environmental issues such as air and water pollution that permeate political borders. States will often seek to minimize the impact of economic activity and end up transferring that impact onto another state. Because states are not required to measure the impact their activity has on other states or listen to opposition from residents of other states, they may engage in activity that is not economically justified from an interstate or regional perspective. An interesting inefficiency that inter state planning can help solve is that of the lack of knowledge and expertise. Especially within government agencies, there are inefficacies that stem from the lack of expertise and skills in a certain field. There may not be anyone in a team that has adequate expertise on a project’s impact on wildlife for example. This is especially true when considering impact on ecosystems outside one’s state.

    Currently there are several challenges to mediating between states. The courts have had limited success in solving interstate disputes on environmental impact and federal regulations and the lack of federal oversight aren’t very effective either. Hall suggests that an environmental Impact Assessment policy—which would create a public process for the exchange of information in which other states, that also subscribe to an impact assessment policy, could participate in—could be useful for decreasing interstate environmental impact. This approach would only be procedural and not specify any outcomes. This may provide an opportunity for states to voluntarily participate in this system that would ultimately just lead to more information sharing and diminish political conflict. However, I still think that this approach is very similar to NEPA in that it requires the disclosure of potential harm but doesn’t prescribe steps for mitigation. While I understand the need to create frameworks that politicians will be open to, I think an extra provision needs to be added to go beyond mere information sharing.

    I think collaborative planning is extremely important to environmental planning and is growing in popularity. Jason Corburn writes for example of the process of co-production where community members are involved not only in the design of scientific research projects but in the data collections as well. This helps improve the kinds of questions being asked and the variables being studies, as community members have better knowledge of the variable that are most relevant to their community. Madarano writes of the importance of differentiating between outputs and outcome of interventions to measure their actual impact. I especially like that political capital was measured as an outcome in the Habitat Workgroup work with Port Authority. Whereas there were previous political conflicts about a development project, the groups were able to discuss mutually beneficial solutions that set a different paradigm for future conflicts over wetlands.

    The perfect example was the community organizing led by Jane Jacobs from 1962 to 1968 to stop the construction of the Lower Manhattan Expressway, a 10 lane highest that would connect Long Island to New Jersey—essentially destroying Little Italy and Soho. Community members solicited Jane’s help, given her experience organizing against other megaprojects, to create a joint committee made up for community residents and the Lower East Side Businessmen’s Association. The committed showed their oppositions through planned protests that mimicked funerals, or showed up to public meeting wearing gas masks, which ultimately stalled the project for years. In 1968, when the New York State Department of Transportation held a public meeting, which was really only intended to fulfill public accountability requirements, a large crowd showed up and asked that Jane address them. Jane made a case for the inhumanity of and destruction the project would cause and was arrested for disorderly conduct. This shed light on the battle on the expressway on the papers, causing politicians to withdraw their support for the project.

    Another example is that of the Berkeley Bart which would have been constructed above ground, bifurcating the neighborhood. Community residents, led by Mabel Howard, challenged the plan in the 1960s. Through citizen action, the Bart tracks were placed underground, which was an important victory, especially for what was then a mostly African American community facing other significant challenges.

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  8. Inter-state planning is a process that two or more states come together to address the same problems. Like Hall said, one of the reasons of multiple sate involvement in inter-state planning is that some issues such as water pollution and air pollution do not recognize the state boundaries. These cross boundary issues couldn’t be solved within one state. Besides, inter-state planning also arises from the ineffective of justification of federal government to address inter-sate conflicts. As Hall comments, the technical and scientific questions of inter-state environmental problems leave the federal government face the crisis to solve the conflicts. If there is not enough federal power in inter-state problem addressing process, then these dilemmas should be addressed by relevant states. Hence, inter-state planning plays a particularly active role in addressing cross boundary issues.
    However, the inter-state collaboration still faces some problems in reality. In Hall’s writing, he shares us that interstate compacts used to address interstate environmental harms have proven to be an elusive mechanism. The source state is reluctant to joint the negotiate process or enact compacts with the affected state. Besides, the political transaction costs lead the negotiation between two states become difficult. These inter-state planning practice seems failure without the federal adjudication. The inter-state water pollution scheme from CWA seems to be another failure to address inter-state since this scheme turned out to be a ‘law of books’ instead of law of actions. EPA has rarely taken actual action on interstate water pollution pursuant to the CWA.
    The failure of the inter-state planning cannot be divorced from the absence of scientific evidence of inter-state environmental issues and legislation power of environmental planning above state level. If any of the above barriers cannot be circumvented, the inter-state planning system cannot be built successfully. Hence, I would recommend scientific research about natural system and natural process as the foundation of inter-state planning. There should be strong scientific research frames for analyzing detrimental effects on effected sate of inter-state water pollution, air pollution and wastes dumping etc. And then we could address the inter-state conflict based on profound evidences instead of verbal battle. Scientific evidences could also boost the involvement of federal government. Moreover, legislation improvement above state level is another actions we should take for addressing inter-state conflicts. The biggest problem of inter-state planning is that there is no strong federal law that defines the rights and duty of inter-state environmental planning. Without profound scientific evidence and the responsibility of EPA, the law addressing inter-state conflicts would turn out to be ‘laws of books’. So inter-state environmental issues need the law to define the duty and rights of relevant states and federal environmental protection agency.
    I really appreciate Mandarano that he differentiates the output and outcomes. The nature of planning collaboration requires the separate definition of output and outcomes. In previous Hall’s writing, he mentions that most of the inter-sate collaboration turns out to be the political ongoing issues instead of process that addressing specific issues. So define the output and outcomes of planning collaboration would help us to know whether the cooperation turns out to be just a process or a successful result. We could also understand whether the problem of environmental collaboration comes from the failure of creating planning documents or the failure of positive influence of planning documents on society. Then we could address the problem clearly.
    An example of public process in China is the public participation in stopping 13 dams building on the Nu River along a major seismic fault-line. In 2003, Yunnan Province devised plans to construct a massive hydropower complex to produce more power than the controversial Three Gorges Dam. The geologist, local people, ENGOs and publics announce their disagreement on Weibo (Chinese Twitter), parade in construction sites, reports about dangerous seismic activity etc. Those actions slowed down the construction of the dams in a short time. However, building dams in Nu River is still going on after several years. The participation only slow downs its building process instead of stopping.
    It’s hard for public participation in China change the planning process actually. It has to be admitted that the environmental procedure justice was only achieved at local level and the hazardous production could continue elsewhere or else time. In the PX case that Kaiyuan share with us. The PX project was moved to the Gulei peninsula in Zhangzhou, about 30 miles west to Xiamen.


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