A New Environmental Accountability System for the Nanotechnology Industry
Pace Law School, US
policy, compliance, accountability
Historically, the United States and many other countries have relied on a government-based regulatory system as the principle method of holding industries accountable for the environmental and public health consequences of their activities and product. This approach has been very successful in reducing the pollution from a wide range of traditional industrial facilities. However, this narrowly focused approach to environmental accountability is not well suited to new industries with a rapidly changing product mix that involve risks that that are not widely understood by the public and for which there are significant scientific uncertainties. This paper will explore how a much more broadly conceived system of environmental accountability can accommodate the needs of an industry to quickly move products from the laboratory to the market place, build public confidence in the both the regulatory and internal company processes designed to address risk to public health and the environment and mitigate potential legal liability problems.
Environmental accountability is a concept that makes strategic use of a wide range of mechanisms including public involvement, monitoring, public reporting, education, regulatory requirements, inspections, and corporate social responsibility programs to assure that public health and the environment are adequately protected and to build public confidence in how an industry functions.
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Nanotech 2006 Conference Program Abstract