Balancing Risk and Finance: The Challenge of Implementing Unfunded Environmental Mandates

Carole J. Cimitile, Victoria S. Kennedy, W. Henry Lambright, Rosemary O'Leary, Paul Weiland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


What impact have unfunded environmental mandates had on local governments? Carol Cimitile, Victoria Kennedy, Henry Lambright, Rosemary O'Leary, and Paul Weiland's two-pronged research studied seven local governments in New York State in 1994. First, they examined if and how these local governments prioritized risks (such as environmental and public health problems) to decide what environmental areas should have priority. Second, they examined how local governments were paying for the implementation of environmental mandates. The division of responsibility for environmental programs differs dramatically among the seven local governments studied. Common themes, however, were discovered and are discussed. The authors conclude that the problems posed by unfunded environmental mandates are the result of a number of factors including fragmentation (institutional, scientific, legal, and political), lack of information, and the rigidity of laws and regulations. They call for a national reexamination of environmental regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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