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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The emerging idea that the private enforcement of nuisance injunctions can facilitate investment in pollution abatement technology raises important questions of the wider regulatory context of this area of tort. This chapter examines the role of the Alkali Inspectorate historically in facilitating progressive improvements in industrial production process standards to an extent comparable with nuisance law. It is argued that regulation in this field has demonstrably shaped the development of pollution abatement technology, but exceptionally so. The notion of ‘voluntarism’, which tort scholars have used to explain the scope and limits of nuisance law’s inventiveness, can be helpfully generalized. Voluntarism accounts for the success with which government inspectors set out to clean up industry through pushing the frontiers of clean technology, and the difficulties of sustaining this success with the passage of time. This is illustrated by a case study concerning cement industry pollution.

Keywords: nuisance, regulation, clean technology, voluntarism, Alkali Inspectorate, chemical industry, cement industry

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