For the past dozen years the multibillion-dollar Federal hazardous waste clean-up programme, known as Superfund, has been mired in controversy. In addition to problems with Superfund financing, liability, and site clean-up priorities, the central predicament is that risk experts and the public disagree over the severity of Superfund site risks. The resulting policy stalemate, argues John Hird, is as unnecessary as it is counterproductive. Now, in the first book to discuss Superfund within the larger context of environmental risk management, Hird offers not only a rigorous evaluation and critique of the programme but also an informed solution to the current impasse. Hird begins by analyzing the political and economic factors that shape and are shaped by, Superfund. These include analyses of risk assessment and risk management, the relative risks posed by Superfund sites compared with other environmental problems, environmental equity and Superfund policy, the extent to which political institutions have steered Superfund's course, and a political analysis of why the Superfund programme has evolved the way it has.
He recommends significant policy reforms that would improve Superfund efficiency and encourage public participation in managing environmental risks. And he shows how creative public institutions can be crafted to address environmental risk management disputes - even ones as contentious as Superfund. Hird concludes that policymakers must recognize the multiple perspectives in managing risks and build political institutions to translate those differing views into public policy. Failure to do so, he argues, will doom controversial programmes such as Superfund. This book aims not only to improve Superfund policy but also to stimulate creative thinking about how governments can better manage risks to public health and the environment.
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 482 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
A thorough, extensively documented, and well-written description of... the Superfund program and an astute appraisal of its many flaws... The book is a valuable contribution to the literature on Superfund policy and politics. * Policy Currents *
Hird has masterfully reviewed the superfund program. * Environment *