Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2004

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Policy Studies - (M.S.)


Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Maurie J. Cohen

Second Advisor

Nancy L. Jackson

Third Advisor

Zeyuan Qiu


On August 2, 1996, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) promulgated rules governing its Open Market Emissions Trading (OMET) program. With a goal to provide industry with a greater degree of flexibility in meeting federal air compliance directives and simultaneously move the state towards the attainment of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), this program is now slated for termination following scrutiny from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), environmental groups and a new NJDEP administration.

This thesis discusses the basis for this scrutiny and other program flaws discovered through interviews with, and public comments from, NJDEP and EPA officials, industry representatives, environmental advocates and former members of the New Jersey State Legislature. The results of this work are also placed against the political background that gave rise to open market trading in New Jersey, and may have hindered the program's success.