In the 1970s, the United States Congress began passing national environmental legislation. One reason for such legislation was to "level the playing field" among the fifty states so that economic advantage did not accrue to one state at the expense of environmental quality and public health.' The world now faces a similar need for environmental legislation on an international level. Environmental laws of individual nations have become more and more divergent as developed countries, such as the United States, enact tougher environmental laws, while less developed nations fail to enact any environmental regulations. The variant standards of these environmental laws have encouraged companies in industrialized nations to take advantage of the developing countries' lax environmental regulations, thereby enhancing their economic competitiveness at the cost of human health and environmental quality in less developed nations.
Michelle M. Vilcheck,
The Controls on the Transfrontier Movement of Hazardous Waste From Developed to Developing Nations: The Goal of a "Level Playing Field",
Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus.