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Fighting WestwayEnvironmental Law, Citizen Activism, and the Regulatory War That Transformed New York City$
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William W. Buzbee

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451904

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451904.001.0001

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(p.215) 14 Assessing Westway’s Outcome

(p.215) 14 Assessing Westway’s Outcome

(p.215) 14 Assessing Westway’s Outcome
Fighting Westway

William W. Buzbee

Cornell University Press

This chapter assesses Westway's defeat, starting with an examination of the consequences, then looking at the outcome both under the law and facts relevant to the Westway proposal and as a lens to critique the law's attributes in modern regulatory wars, especially over environmental stakes. While commentators included many who bemoaned Westway's defeat, others praised the result and the process that allowed citizens, politicians, and agency scientists to oppose and defeat a project supported by many powerful interests. Hence part of this clash of views hinged on whether Westway's defeat revealed legal or political dysfunction, even if it was a sound result under the law. Westway's lengthy war and defeat also offer lessons about the law, especially in complicated regulatory wars involving all branches and layers of government, citizen activists, and clashes over environmental risks and urban priorities.

Keywords:   Westway's defeat, modern regulatory wars, environmental stakes, law, government, environmental risks, urban priorities

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