Better environmental regulation - contributions from risk-based decision-making

A Gouldson, Alec Morton, Simon JT Pollard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Internationally, pressure is being exerted on governments and regulators to develop modern forms of regulation that deliver more for less, and in better ways. We discuss the ways in which one large regulator, the Environment Agency for England and Wales, has responded to such pressures by implementing risk-based approaches to regulation. After exploring the context for key elements of risk-based environmental regulation, we consider the evolving influence of such approaches. We discuss the impacts against the UK Government's principles for better regulation and the key criteria for policy evaluation, before considering some of the challenges: the need to i) understand the best practice and promote consistency in risk-based regulation; ii) develop reliable, responsive forms of risk assessment and monitoring; iii) build capacities for responsive risk regulation; iv) evaluate the influence of different regulatory styles; and v) better understand the potential role of the private sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5283-5288
Number of pages6
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2009


  • policy
  • environment agency
  • risk
  • modern
  • better
  • regulation
  • environmental regulation
  • risk-based
  • decision making


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