The success of the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) stands in stark contrast to most environmental regulations in the United States. Between its inception in 1988 and 1995, releases of chemicals listed on the TRI have declined by 45%. The authors argue the TEI has achieved this regulatory success by creating a mechanism of “populist maximin regulation”. This style of regulation differs from traditional command and control in several ways. First, the major role of public agencies is not to ser and enforce standards, but to establish an information rich context for private citizens, interest groups, and firms to solve environmental problems. Second, environmental “standards” are not determined by expert analysis of acceptable risk, but are effectively set at the levels informed citizens will accept. Third, firms adopt poluution prevention and abatement measures in response to a dynamic range or public pressures rather than to formalized agency standars od governmental sanction.