State Policy Program

In the absence of comprehensive federal legislation, states play a critical role in designing and implementing their own policies that contribute to the overall health of our environment and economy.

The State Policy Program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions works with local governments, state agencies and other decision makers to design these cost-effective policies and practices that protect valuable resources and, ultimately, help inform the creation of federal policy.

Using data-driven analyses, researchers are working with public utility commissions in the Southeastern United States to determine real opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as helping local governments balance competing demands for their water resources.

In North Carolina, the program is designing ways to address nutrient pollution and educate the public about how they can impact water quality in Falls Lake and the Upper Neuse River Basin—the water supply for many in the state’s Research Triangle Region.

Focus areas include: strategies to reduce and manage nutrient pollution; greenhouse gas emission reduction by public utilities; protection and restoration of watersheds that supply drinking water; water allocation policy options; sustainable infrastructure planning and financing for water utilities; and climate change and sea level rise adaptation planning.