Under the 10th Amendment, the United States Constitution allows states to control land use within their jurisdiction. The federal government therefore, in its efforts to mitigate environmental damages caused by sprawl and over development, is limited to federal statutes carried about by federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency managed Clean Water Act. Although these federal programs are helpful at reducing pollution from point sources, they are precluded from regulating non-point sources, such as the increased storm water run-off caused by expanding development. Through federally backed programs, states could support regional land use planning that would encourage stronger environmental standards. This article describes several approaches to intergovernmental environmental regulation.
John R. Nolon, Battle for the Ages: Defining Federal Power to Affect Local Land Use, New York Law Journal, Aug. 15, 2001, at 5.