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75 Va. L. Rev. 431 (1989)
Structure and Process, Politics and Policy: Administrative Arrangements and the Political Control of Agencies

handle is hein.journals/valr75 and id is 441 raw text is: STRUCTURE AND PROCESS, POLITICS AND POLICY:
ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS AND THE
POLITICAL CONTROL OF AGENCIES
Matthew D. McCubbins, * Roger G. Noll, ** and Barry R. Weingast***
I N 1977, Congress substantially revised the Clean Air Act,1 the nation's
flagship legislation on environmental policy. Many changes were consid-
ered, and among those that Congress adopted was an intricate redefinition of
the procedures to be used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
in making rules.2 The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970 (1970 Amend-
ments), which had moved responsibility for air pollution regulation from the
Public Health Service in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
(HEW) to the newly minted EPA, set up the EPA's rulemaking procedures
as informal with few procedural requirements and considerable decisional
flexibility.' After extensive debate in both the 94th and 95th Congresses,4
Congress changed this to a new hybrid process (more formal than informal
rulemaking but less formal than formal rulemaking) that requires a more
elaborate written record and a clearer statement of agency intentions and of
the bases for its decisions.'
As a reading of the committee reports and floor debates about these and
similar proposals makes clear, legislators regard the choice of administrative
structure and process as vitally important.6 The legislative history of admin-
* Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of California, San Diego.
The authors thank Sharyn O'Halloran for her assistance on this Article. Mr. McCubbins
and Mr. Weingast acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation under grants
SES-8811022 and SES-8617516.
•* Department of Economics, Stanford University.
•** Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
I Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977, Pub. L. No. 95-95, 91 Stat. 685 (codified as amended
at 42 U.S.C. §§ 7401-7642 (1982 & Supp. IV 1986)).
2 See id. § 305, 91 Stat. at 774 (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 7607(d) (1982)); see also H.R. Rep.
No. 294, 95th Cong., 1st Sess. 27, reprinted in 1977 U.S. Code Cong. & Admin. News 1077,
1105 (This section establishes comprehensive procedures for most informal rulemaking under
the Clean Air Act in lieu of the Administrative Procedure Act.).
3 Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970, Pub. L. No. 91-604, § 3, 84 Stat. 1676, 1677
(codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. § 7607(d) (1982)).
4 See infra notes 121-56 and accompanying text.
s See Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977, Pub. L. No. 95-95, § 302, 91 Stat. 685, 770
(codified at 42 U.S.C. § 7607(d) (1982)).
6 As used here, process refers to the rules and standards that apply to policy decisions by
an agency and guide judicial review, whereas structure refers to the allocation of resources

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