Date of Conferral
Date of Award
The research was designed to give additional insight into the public policy process. Specifically, the focus of the study was on environmental public policy and the assumed relationship between public opinion on environmental issues and environmental legislation. A secondary emphasis of the research was to review environmental quality and consider the environmental quality as a function of legislative and regulatory impact. The study was restricted to the state of North Carolina and used a public opinion survey, legislative record review, and environmental quality data as the primary indicators.
The results of the study showed that (a) citizens in North Carolina have a high degree of concern and personal responsibility for environmental issues, (b) a significant volume of environmental legislation is introduced and ratified in the state's General Assembly, and (c) the state's environmental quality has improved or held its level of quality over the past 5 to 20 years.
The conclusions and directions for future inquiry should be of benefit to students of the public policy process, politicians, regulatory agencies, and environmental advocacy groups. Public opinion on environmental issues appears to be reflected in the introduction and ratification of environmental legislation. The relationship between public opinion and environmental legislation has been examined and the impact of the environmental legislation analyzed from the perspective of the state's environmental resources.