Environmental issues are of increasing political importance in the USSR as public awareness of the scope and effects of the problem is growing under conditions of glasnost. The author examines the policy response since 1985, with particular emphasis on the implications of economic reform efforts, including discussion of expanded enterprise autonomy, cooperatives, joint ventures, land leasing, regional decentralization, and bureaucratic restructuring. While measures adopted, in theory, provide a framework for effective environmental policy, their realization and implementation face numerous obstacles and depend on continued pressure from the public, local organs, and the Supreme Soviet. -Author