Whose Backyard, Whose Risk: Fear and Fairness in Toxic and Nuclear Waste Siting / Edition 1

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Overview

In Whose Backyard, Whose Risk, environmental lawyer, professor,and commentator Michael B. Gerrard tackles the thorny issue of how and where to dispose of hazardous and radioactive waste. Gerrard, who has represented dozens of municipalities and community groups that have fought landfills and incinerators, as well as companies seeking permits, clearly and succinctly analyzes a problem that has generated a tremendous amount of political conflict,emotional anguish, and transaction costs. He proposes a new system of waste disposal that involves local control, state responsibility, and national allocation to deal comprehensively with multiple waste streams.

Gerrard draws on the literature of law, economics, political science, and other disciplines to analyze the domestic and international origins of wastes and their disposal patterns. Based on a study of the many failures and few successes of past siting efforts,he identifies the mistaken assumptions and policy blunders that have helped doom siting efforts.

Gerrard first describes the different kinds of nonradioactive and radioactive wastes and how each is generated and disposed of. He explains historical and current siting decisions and considers the effects of the current mechanisms for making those decisions (including the hidden economics and psychology of the siting process). A typology of permit rules reveals the divergence between what underlies most siting disputes and what environmental laws actually protect. Gerrard then looks at proposals for dealing with the siting dilemma and examines the successes and failures of each. He outlines a new alternative for facility siting that combines a political solution and a legal framework for implementation. A hypothetical example of how a siting decision might be made in a particular case is presented in an epilogue.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Environmental lawyer Gerrard describes the different varieties of toxic and nuclear waste, the history of their disposal methods, and the obvious and subtle issues involved in choosing sites for future disposal. He then proposes an approach to the problem of fairness by advocating local control, state responsibility, and allocation on a national level. He also suggests reusing contaminated sites in order to spare virgin lands and avoid the cost of cleaning up the old ones. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262571135
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 347
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael B. Gerrard is Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia LawSchool.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Setting the Stage 1
Introduction 3
The Origins and Disposal of Nonradioactive Wastes 7
The Origins and Disposal of Radioactive Wastes 25
How Siting Decisions Are Made 47
Evaluating the Current Siting Processes 67
Prior Proposals for Reform 123
Consensual Proposals 125
Coercive Proposals 141
Avoidance Proposals 145
A Proposed Solution: Local Control, State Responsibility, National Allocation 167
A Description of the Proposal 169
Evaluating the Proposed Siting Process 195
Practicalities of Implementation 205
Epilogue: How a Siting Decision Could Be Made 219
Abbreviations 225
Notes 227
Index 327
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