Continued - Page 45

Except for the difficulty of organizing the Commission's work around part-time Commissioners who have busy lives of their own, this part-time Commission has performed well, as well as any full-time Commission given its legislative mandate and powers. Of course, there is always room for change.

If the people of Nevada want a Commission that is "proactive"- a super environmental agency - they will need to modify significantly the legislation and amendments that brought the Commission into being. A full-time "professional" Commission with a substantial full-time staff will be able to take a more aggressive stance towards environmental problems.
While it might satisfy the appetite of those who want more positive governmental action in this growing area of public concern, it will also be more contentious and produce a new set of political conflicts. Until now, the resent Commission reflects and suits the political culture of this "frontier state."

Change is taking place rapidly, however. Contrary to popular perception, Nevada has become one of the most urbanized states in the Union. As Southern Nevada gains political clout in the State and in the State Legislature, people who are facing increased challenges by the environment may wish change the way environmental business has been done in the past. These are questions that only the people will be able to decide.
Imminent Problems

The State Environmental Commission has regulatory authority over air, water and waste. A majority of the Commissioners interviewed felt that the most important issues coming before the Commission in the near future would be air and waste.

Established as a part of Nevada's Air Pollution Control Act, the Commission's initial mandate from the Legislature was to take all necessary action to secure to the State the benefits of the Federal Clean Air Act. This authority continues to direct the work of the Commission today.

Next Page