Center for Progressive Reform

Richard N.L. (Pete) Andrews

Richard N.L. (Pete) Andrews is a Professor of Environmental Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with joint appointments in the Departments of Environmental Sciences and Engineering and City and Regional Planning, and the Carolina Environmental Program.

Professor Andrews has taught and written on environmental policy in the United States and elsewhere for over thirty-five years, particularly on the history of U.S. environmental policy, the National Environmental Policy Act and environmental impact assessment, the use of risk and cost-benefit analysis in government decision-making, and most recently the use of environmental management systems by businesses and government.

Professor Andrews has served on several professional study committees of the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, the National Academy of Public Administration, and other advisory groups to government. He is currently a member of the National Research Council's Committee on Human Dimensions of Global Change, and previously on its Panel on Environmental Decision-making and on the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee to the State of North Carolina. He chaired the Panel on U.S. Registration Practices for ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems, sponsored by U.S. EPA under the auspices of the National Academy of Public Administration, as well as the Advisory Panel on New Approaches to Environmental Regulation of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (1994-95). He served on the Risk Reduction Strategies Subcommittee of the EPA Science Advisory Board (1990), and on the influential 1994-95 National Academy of Public Administration study panel on EPA (Setting Priorities, Getting Results). He chaired the NRC Panel on Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development (1988-91), and served on NRC's Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology.

Professor Andrews directed UNC's Institute for Environmental Studies for ten years, and subsequently chaired the Environmental Management and Policy Program in its Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering; from 1997 to 2000 he served as elected Chair of the University Faculty. Prior to joining the UNC faculty in 1981, he served for nine years on the faculty of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources, where he chaired its Natural Resource Policy and Management Program, and previously as a budget examiner in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal. He also staffed the environmental policy committee of the Governor's Commission on the Future of North Carolina (1982-84). In the course of his research and professional service on environmental policy, he has served as a consultant or advisor to numerous government agencies including among others the Environmental Protection Agency, Council on Environmental Quality, Army Corps of Engineers, Agency for International Development, and General Accounting Office.

Professor Andrews' overarching research interests concern whether government policy incentives produce better environmental outcomes, and whether requirements for more detailed information and analysis produce better environmental policies. His book Managing the Environment, Managing Ourselves: A History of American Environmental Policy (Yale 1999,. 2nd edition 2006) links current environmental policies both to their historical roots and to their origins in natural resource and infrastructure development, conservation, public health, and the larger course of American history and governance. An earlier book, Environmental Policy and Administrative Change: The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Lexington, 1976), showed that NEPA's effectiveness resulted primarily from increased access to information by other affected agencies, state governments, and the public, rather than from more systematic analysis within the sponsoring agency as the law's authors had envisioned its effects. Professor Andrews also has written on environmental impact assessment, cost-benefit analysis of environmental regulations, and risk assessment, on policies for hazardous waste facility siting, and on long-term planning and policy reform by EPA.

Professor Andrews' recent research addresses the effects of public policies as incentives for environmental decisions by businesses, particularly "voluntary" approaches such as "self-regulation" by environmental management systems. He directed the National Database on Environmental Management Systems, a five-year longitudinal study of EMS implementation which suggested that government technical assistance programs might most effectively emphasize improving internal management capacity in government facilities and in private firms that do not have access to corporate resources (http://ndems.cas.unc.edu/). More recent research included a study of corporate and business customer mandates for environmental management systems, investigating impacts of such mandates and other factors on environmental and business performance across 3,200 facilities in four industrial sectors; results of this research suggest that while EMSs are useful in many respects, they are no guarantee of environmental performance improvements, and policy rewards should therefore be based on environmental performance measures rather than on EMS adoption per se. He also has collaborated on comparative studies of EMS impacts in the U.S. and in other countries that export to U.S. markets.

Professor Andrews earned his undergraduate degree from Yale, and professional master's degree in regional planning and Ph.D. in environmental policy and planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of Sigma Xi, the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. He served twice as chair of AAAS's Section on Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering, and as a member of its Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy. He has testified as an expert witness before the U.S. Senate on the implementation of NEPA and the performance of the Council on Environmental Quality. 

Pete Andrews
UNC - Chapel Hill Public Policy
Chapel Hill, NC


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