In addition to a large amount of cooperation with each other, the United States and Canada have also developed extensive policy programs domestically.
The United States government created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970.
In 1971, the Canadian
government created a Federal Department of Environment. The department is now called Environment Canada.
Because the countries are more modernized and have considerably more experience in dealing with environmental issues, they have a wider variety of policy instruments to utilize in combating environmental degradation.
Command and control policies are still in use, largely because they are often the simplest type of program to run. However, unlike many other regions of the
world, the United States and Canada both have developed economic incentive programs, such as tradable pollution permits, to achieve environmental goals.
Both countries have created environmental policy on the federal, state or provincial, and local levels. Often, these levels of government collaborate in their work.
The US and Canada have been pioneers in the breadth of their environmental legislation. The countries
have enacted many laws, set environmental standards, developed environmental research programs, enforced regulations, preserved natural environments, and prevented major health problems from causes such as pollution.
There are some limitations on what these countries have been able to accomplish. The EPA has found that command and control standards have been highly
ineffective when applied equally to unique areas. Also, some environmental programs have failed, such as those attempting to protect migrating birds.