Environmental Analysis for Development Planning in Chambers County, Texas - Land Use Component
Although many persons would contest the constitutionality of direct federal controls over the use of privately owned lands, it is likely that such control would be held constitutional by the Supreme Court. Through the delegated power to control commerce, Congress's power over private property is virtually unlimited. However, most federal programs have not operated by way of direct command. Instead, they have used the power of financial support to create helpful programs and to encourage states to direct their own activities in a manner which meets federal aims. Among the programs which have been thus implemented are those in housing, transportation, and community improvement. Within the past few years, federal emphasis in air and water pollution has shifted from encouragement to requirement. Enforcement of these laws has been delegated to a new Federal Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency. Although EPA carves out a role for those states which wish to keep their control positions in air and water pollution implementation, the states may not by their inaction, prevent effective measures from being taken. If the states do not act, then EPA will. The summary which follows covers major federal programs which affect land use, and indicates some of the influence which these programs may have on Chambers County.