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Farrell, Alex. 1999. "Sustainability and Choice: The EPA's Sustainable Development Challenge Grant Program." Policy Studies Review 16(3): 36-74.


Sustainability has been advanced as an important societal goal and one which governments should adopt and implement. However, sustainability is complex concept and one for which a firm consensus definition does not appear likely any time soon. This paper briefly describes the conceptual background for a discussion of sustainability and then reviews one of the first attempts by the U.S. government to implement a policy specifically designed to promote sustainability, the Environmental Protection Agency's Sustainable Development Challenge Grant (SDCG) Program. The background for the program and the experience of it's first year are examined and then a formal decision analysis of the problem facing the SDCG program managers is developed. The implications of this research for the SDCG and for other government policy-making are discussed.

Keywords: sustainable development, multi-criteria analysis, US EPA, decision-making, environmental policy


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