All Volumes (2001-2008)


Volume I, 2001

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Clearly, hazardous waste management represents a formidable task for policy makers at all levels of government. Of course, eliminating waste requires facilities for disposal; this is perhaps the most controversial aspect of the hazardous waste management debate. At the local level, counties and municipalities are routinely engaged in battles in which they are trying to impose these unwanted facilities on their neighbors. The state is often forced to step in and play a central role in resolving the conflict. Over the last several decades, several authors have sought to determine to what degree of importance the public places on improving and protecting the environment, as well as the various policy options they are willing to consider. Waste facility siting plays an important role in these policy options. To a far lesser degree, scholars have directly considered the opinions of those persons responsible for making the ultimate policy decisions. Rather, scholars have tended to rely on an institutional approach when studying environmental decision-making. To this point, legislators' attitudes on the environment have not been assessed to the point that the citizens can feel comfortable about their decision-making abilities, especially when one considers the various technical features that accompany the policy. This research project is intended to add to the growing body of literature on environmental decision making by considering the opinions of state legislators regarding various policy options concerning hazardous waste management and facility sighting.