States adopted the British standard for exported apples. It could hardly provide its own citizens with less protection than it afforded British consumers and proceeded to impose the standards on its own production, despite vigorous opposition from apple growers.3
Land use planning represents an important forerunner of environmental policy. Most European countries have known land use controls for decades, growing out of a limited concept of property in societies subject to monarchical rule. In the United States, federal land use planning does not exist and state programs are restricted by traditional reluctance to limit individual property rights and the Constitutional doctrine of "taking," which requires compensation for the diminution of rights through certain public actions.
The great surge of environmental legislation in the United States in the late sixties and early seventies is often seen as the beginning of modern environmental policy and is usually interpreted as a signal act of US leadership. Seen in a comparative perspective, the major acts—the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977—contain important legislative innovations. They have been used as benchmarks worldwide. At the same time, these acts filled a legislative void which had been allowed to continue longer than in most other developed countries and represent belated recognition of necessities that had been addressed elsewhere over longer periods of time. The United States had a strong tradition of conversation, a relatively short tradition of industrial safety regulation, and almost no tradition of land use planning. In the western United States, extraordinarily large areas of federally owned lands permitted the federal authorities to act directly in a manner that was impossible elsewhere. The resultant environmental legislation reflected these pre-existing circumstances. In particular the environmental assessment requirement of NEPA is comprehensible only in the context of a country that had neglected land use planning and consequently did not dispose of the basic data and decision-making structures that had existed elsewhere for decades. In this respect, the United States of 1965 resembled the countries of the developing world more than those of Western Europe or Japan.
The policy areas that were ultimately to form a core of environmental management—water supply, neighborhood protection, worker safety, and public health, as well as land use planning—developed independently of each other. Each responded to a particular need, and while linkages may have been recognized, it did not seem essential to the success of each endeavor to undertake them jointly. As a consequence, each of these policy areas was typically housed in separate administrative units, often with incommensurate hierarchical structures. For example water quality aimed at integrating river basins, worker safety was