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APPENDIX A Six Cases in Risk Analysis and Characterization r ~ his appendix presents brief ac- counts of six risk decision processes that illustrate some of the points we make about risk characterization. The examples are diverse in terms of the kinds of risk decisions and decision makers they involve and the points they illustrate about analysis and deliberation in informing risk decisions. We have chosen these six chiefly because they are not readily available in published sources. In describing these cases, we do not imply that any one of them successfully characterized the relevant risks. In- deed, some of these efforts were themselves controversial, a fact that underlines the difficulty of designing an effective analytic-deliberative process for informing risk decisions that are likely to become contentious. We believe, nevertheless, that several of the cases illustrate approaches to risk characterization that responsible agencies might find useful to adapt to suit their situations. The cases are presented in the order in which they are mentioned above: ecosystem management in South Florida, incinera- tion siting in Ohio, regulatory negotiation for a disinfectant by-products rule, siting a power plant in Florida, the California Comparative Risk Project, and future land use for a former nuclear waste site. APPLICATION OF ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES FOR THE SUSTAINABILITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA The US Man and the Biosphere Program (US MAB) Human-Domi- nated Systems Directorate is conducting a 4-year project on ecosystem 167

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168 UNDERSTANDING RISK: INFORMING DECISIONS IN A DEMO CRITIC SOCIETY management for the sustainability of South Florida ecological and associ- ated societal systems (Harwell et al., in press). Although this effort was not envisioned as a project in risk analysis or risk characterization, it addresses important public decisions in which risks are a significant com- ponent. The project is interesting in terms of risk characterization for several reasons. One is its strong emphasis on problem formulation: the project appears to have changed the dialogue on the future of the South Florida environment by redefining the issues into an ecosystem manage- ment framework. Another is its effort to use an analytic-deliberative process to define policy goals that would in turn generate questions for analysis. A third is the project's use of a diverse group of natural and social scientists to represent the concerns of the spectrum of interested and affected parties. The project focuses on the essential issues related to achieving eco- logical sustainability for the Greater Everglades and the South Florida region and has involved more than 100 scientists representing academic and government sectors in both the natural and social sciences (Harwell and Long, 1995~. The project uses the concept of ecosystem management as the framework for harmonizing and integrating the diverse but mutu- ally dependent sustainability needs of society and the environment. This paradigm was not used in South Florida during years of large-scale ma- nipulations of the environment. Quite the contrary: during this century, South Florida has been managed to satisfy human-centered needs with little regard for the sustainability of the ecosystem. The ecosystem man- agement perspective presumes that this approach must evolve to one that explicitly recognizes the mutual interdependence of society and the envi ronment. Ecosystem management is a goal-driven framework that integrates scientific understanding of ecological relationships within societal con- texts and emphasizes the need to protect ecosystems and species of con- cern, manage for ecological fluctuations, and employ core reserve/buffer zones to protect the ecosystem over the long term. Because ecosystem management focuses on human and natural systems at regional scales and across intergenerational time periods, it is inherently integrative and adaptive in nature. The US MAB project adopted and applied a set of generic ecosystem management principles (see box, page 171~. These principles emphasize the long-term maintenance and sustainability of biological populations, ecosystem structures, functions, and processes, but also explicitly recognize that humans are an integral part of ecosys- tems. This last point cannot be overemphasized. The US MAD project seeks to replace the divisiveness created by po- larized viewpoints with a spirit of cooperation that fosters the develop

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1 70 UNDERSTANDING RISK: INFORMING DECISIONS IN A DEMO CRITIC SOCIETY ment of solutions that are beneficial to both society and ecosystems. The project's operating principles raise several management issues: . the need for a shared vision for ecosystem use and development- although the interests of every group cannot be accommodated, a shared vision can include access to decision-making and a common perception of broad, long-term goals for the region; the positive linkage of the environment to sustained economic de- velopment explicit coupling of environmental and economic security rather than the more commonly held view of competition; the imperative for adaptive management recognizing that each decision is simply the best one that can be made under present under- standing and that it can be modified and adjusted as new knowledge is gained and uncertainties are reduced; and the need for a system of ecosystem governance suitable for imple- menting ecosystem- and landscape-level sustainability goals where the hierarchies and complexities of the natural and the human systems are recognized and are directly coupled in governance just as they are in reality. The organizers of the project presumed that an ecosystem manage- ment approach would require integration of theory and knowledge from the natural sciences with analyses of societal and ecological costs and benefits of ecosystem restoration. It would require several kinds of analy- sis: to identify the defining physical, chemical, and ecological characteris- tics of the natural, unperturbed Greater Everglades; to use these defining characteristics to develop ecological sustainability goals for the ecosys- tems of importance in the Greater Everglades; to select methods and eco- logical characteristics (called ecological endpoints) for assessing and monitoring change; to evaluate the patterns of human uses of environ- mental resources (such as land and water) and identify other human- caused stresses; to examine the societal and institutional factors influenc- ing ecological sustainability; and to assess the compatibility of ecosystem management with societal policies and institutions and the ability of these policies and institutions to achieve ecological sustainability goals. And it would require deliberation to identify the concerns of the region's inter- ested and affected parties and the social and economic outcomes or end- points that the project's analyses would have to address. All potentially interested and affected parties did not participate di- rectly, but efforts were made to have their concerns represented by in- cluding in the project a number of experts (primarily social scientists) who were sensitive to those concerns and outcomes because of having worked in and with local groups.

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APPENDIX A 17 Application to South Florida The Everglades of South Florida are unique in the world, originally spanning vast open spaces between the coastal ridges of Florida, covering a total area of about 20,000 square kilometers (Bottcher and Izuno, 1994~. Wading birds, alligators, sawgrass plains, mangroves, and tropical for- ests are among the region's most recognizable features, but the essence of the Everglades is the abundance and diversity of species that once lived among the diverse range of habitats (Douglas, 1947; Davis and Ogden, 1994~. This "river of grass" flowed from Lake Okeechobee, through sawgrass, hardwood hammock, and pineland communities, to the estuar- ies of the southern tip of the peninsula (see Figure Am. The defining features of the natural Everglades consist of the large spatial scale of the system, the highly variable seasonal and interannual patterns of water storage and sheet flow across the landscape, and the very low levels of nutrients in the surface waters. These characteristics led to a unique assemblage of wading birds, large vertebrates, and fish and plant com- munities patterned in a mosaic of habitats over the landscape and sea- scape of the region (Davis and Ogden, 1994~. Since the early 1900s the regional environment has undergone exten- sive habitat degradation associated with hydrological alterations by hu- mans. These were made initially to drain land for agriculture and human settlements, and somewhat later to protect against flooding (Light and Dineen, 1994~. The resultant Central and South Florida Project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has created one of the most massive engineered hydrological systems in the world. Additionally, the human population of South Florida is now 4.5 million and growing at a rate of almost 1 million per decade, mostly perched on the narrow coastal ridges. As a consequence of these changes, only half of the original Everglades re- mains, and only a mere 20 percent of the ecosystem falls within the pro- tective boundaries of the Everglades National Park. The ecosystem con- tinues to degrade, and ecological sustainability cannot be achieved without fundamental changes (Davis and Ogden, 1994; US Man and the Biosphere Program Human-Dominated Systems Directorate, 1994~. The US MAB project included nine steps (Harwell and Long, 1995~: (1) define the geographical boundaries of the regional ecological sys tem; (2) identify the types of ecosystems that exist within those boundaries and that are of management concern to humans; (3) identify the natural and anthropogenic stressors on the regional system, including their spatial and temporal components; (4) identify ecological endpoints for each ecosystem type, where eco

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172 UNDERSTANDING RISK: INFORMING DECISIONS IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Scenario C US MAB Human-Dominated Systems Directorate June 1994 Isle at Hact. Mane L/\/-U Canals :~ Countes L\: Everglades National Purl; ~ Buffer Area gi4.: i.\ .... FIGURE A-1 A scenario for management of the greater Everglades ecosystem. SOURCE: Harwell, Long, Bartuska et al., in press. logical endpoints are defined as the ecological characteristics across a range of hierarchy (population, community, ecosystem, and landscape levels) that can be used to evaluate the health or change-of-health of the ecosystem;

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APPENDIX A 173 (5) specify the ecological and hydrological characteristics of a sustain- able ecosystem, defined in terms of the selected ecological endpoints; (6) characterize the human factors affecting the ecosystem, including stressors, feedbacks to society, and societal values of the ecosystems; (7) define ecological sustainability goals for each component of the landscape, with focus on core areas of maximal ecological goals and buffer areas to support the attainment of those coals; tem; and ~ 1 `_ (8) establish plausible scenarios of management of the regional sys (9) examine those scenarios for their implications for the desired goals for sustainability of the regional ecological and societal systems. The study presumed that sustainability for the South Florida regional ecosystem would require the reestablishment of enough of the natural hydrological system to provide water quantity, timing, and distribution over a sufficiently large area to support the ecological components, such as wading birds and the mosaic of habitats, that constitute the essence and uniqueness of the Everglades (Harwell et al., in press). The study concluded that the environment of South Florida has more than sufficient water except in severe drought years to support all anticipated urban, agricultural, and ecological needs, but that the major portion of that fresh- water is lost directly to the sea through the engineered system of drainage canals. The critical issue then is not competition for resources, but the storage and wise management of this renewable resource. The US MAB project used the scenario-consequence analytical ap- proach to examine environmental effects of human actions. This approach involves developing a hypothetical set of conditions (scenarios) that are internally consistent and scientifically defensible and that specify all im- portant factors needed to evaluate effects (Harwell et al., 1989~. A sce- nario is meant to be neither a prediction of the future nor a proposed plan of action; rather, it is meant to cover the range of situations that are suffi- ciently plausible to warrant further evaluation. The relative risks, costs, and benefits of the plausible management strategies can then be evalu- ated comparatively, providing a much stronger basis for selecting among options. The US MAB examined three scenarios in terms of how associated changes in land use and hydrology would affect the defining characteris- tics of the natural Everglades: spatial scale, dynamic storage and sheet flow, and habitat heterogeneity. Scenarios were aggregated according to land use designations: Scenario A: management involving only existing publicly held wet- lands in the Everglades basin;

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174 UNDERSTANDING RISK: INFORMING DECISIONS IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Scenario B: the addition of contiguous, privately owned areas within the original Everglades that remain as functional wetlands; Scenario C: the further addition of contiguous, privately owned ar- eas that no longer are functional wetlands, but that could provide water storage and management functions or could be recovered as functional wetlands. Land use was classified into core and buffer areas: core areas are the wetlands that would be managed to recover predrainage hydrological patterns in terms of water quantity, distribution, and timing (where maxi- mum recovery of the defining characteristics of the natural ecosystem is assumed to occur); buffer areas are parts of the system to be used for water supply for both ecological and human needs, flood protection for urban and agricultural areas, enhancement of water quality, and as hy- drological transition zones between natural conditions and managed ar- eas. Variations in scenarios were developed that differed in the location and extent of core and buffer areas. All scenarios presumed flood protec- tion and other support required for the human-occupied zone. It was concluded that Scenarios A and B contain insufficient spatial extent of the core area to provide for the defining characteristics of the Everglades at population to landscape levels or contain insufficient buffer area in order to provide for hydrological storage and release similar to natural hydrological cycles. That is, neither scenario was considered eco- logically sustainable. Scenario C (see Figure A-1) involved using portions of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) for dynamic water storage while it remains en- tirely or in part under private ownership. The EAA presently consists of 280,000 hectares, primarily under sugar production, with total annual economic activity of approximately $1.2 billion (Bottcher and Izuno, 1994~. Scenario C was considered sufficient to achieve the ecological goals for the core area, but variations in the scenario relating to the amount of EAA lands that would be acquired publicly and therefore taken out of agricul- tural production had major societal implications. Complete acquisition of the EAA was concluded to have too high an economic and social cost for the communities of this historical agricul- tural area (Bottcher and Izuno, 1994~. Yet the sustainability of the sugar industry in the EAA itself is at risk for several reasons: extensive soil degradation, which has been caused by the lowering of the water table and extensive microbial oxidation and loss of the peat soils; potential changes in sugar price supports because of liberalization of international trade; likely political changes relating to Cuba that would affect current import bans on sugar; political forces aligned against sugar production in the EAA, including efforts to tax the sugar industry exclusively for funds

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APPENDIX A 175 to restore the Everglades; and economic pressures to acquire EAA lands for residential development. Consequently, bringing at least part of the EAA into a buffer function (water storage and management) in support of the ecological systems of the region might counteract the risks to the sustainability of the agricul- tural system. The US MAB scenario suggested possible uses for the EAA that would allow for sugar production to continue and for the water management needs to be met, thereby linking the sustainability of the ecological system with the societal sustainability of the local community. One possibility is the development of sugar cultivars that would be highly productive under flooded conditions; another is the creation of economic incentives for water storage by sugar farmers, such as subsidizing flooded-system sugar prices or paying farmers to store water rather than grow crops. An interesting result of the analyses is that if any agriculture is to remain in the EAA, sugar is probably the most desirable ecologically, as its nutrient demands and nutrient exports to the Everglades are per- haps an order of magnitude lower than those of vegetable crops. Further- more, sugar agriculture is much preferable to the alternative of housing developments in terms of the impact on the Everglades system down- stream. Further detailed analyses remain to be done, but the risk characteriza- tion using an ecosystem management framework in the US MAB project has now suggested that a solution may be feasible that achieves ecological sustainability of the regional ecosystem and is consistent with the eco- nomic, cultural, and other societal sustainability goals for the agricultural community of the region. Implications of the Case Study The ecosystem management case study in South Florida illustrates some points that have more general importance for environmental risk characterization. First, it illustrates a way to address seemingly more complex issues than traditionally addressed by risk assessments (i.e., single chemical, single health effect) by examining the many outcomes of a few plausible scenarios as a way of understanding the risk situation. Second, it illustrates the critical role of problem formulation in the ecological risk assessment paradigm (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1992a) and its constituent elements. These elements include iden- tifying the at-risk systems or populations; selecting the full range of out- comes to those at-risk systems or populations that must be characterized; identifying the types of information, analyses, analytical methodologies, and other tools needed to characterize the risk situation; making explicit the contextual issues and their implications; and mapping the problem

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176 UNDERSTANDING RISK: INFORMING DECISIONS IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIE~ onto a risk characterization landscape to provide guidance to the decision makers. Third, it illustrates the use of an adaptive management framework for risk decision making and the place of risk characterization within that approach. Adaptive management is fundamentally a problem-driven approach. It begins with explicit objectives (in this case, ecological sus- tainability that is consistent with societal sustainability); takes a long- term perspective, recognizes that long-term achievement of environmen- tal goals affects and is affected by the societal context; and adopts a policy strategy of making interim decisions, monitoring consequences, and al- tering the decisions as conditions warrant. It relies on analyses that are interdisciplinary (especially across boundaries between natural and so- cial sciences) and that focus on reducing uncertainties. It also relies on deliberation, beginning with efforts to develop a shared vision or prob- lem formulation that might be accepted by many affected parties. In the South Florida case, that effort began only after the initial analytical stages of developing options and scenarios, and it involved participation by analytical experts with varying disciplinary perspectives and familiarity with the parties' perspectives, although not by the parties themselves. It is too early to tell whether a shared vision will be widely accepted by the people of South Florida. The key result of the analysis and deliberation was a set of scenarios and consequence analyses that essentially charac- terized the risks and other outcomes of various plausible management strategies and served as input from the program to the decision partici- pants. The adaptive management framework, as applied in South Florida, faces limitations involving such issues as data needs, the potential for adversarial processes to interfere or derail the process, the perception that it is controlled by elites, and the time required for adequate development of the interdisciplinary research team. The approach is geared for ad- dressing large and complex problems, those that are multidimensional and cover a long time frame or large spatial scale. APPROVAL OF THE WASTE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. INCINERATOR AT EAST LIVERPOOL, OHIO Controversy surrounding the Waste Technologies Industries (WTI) hazardous waste incinerator, located in East Liverpool, Ohio, reflects a number of issues common to hazardous waste facility siting, and par- ticularly incinerators. Planning for the incinerator on a 20-acre plot of land next to the Ohio River, previously owned by the county port author- ity and zoned for heavy industrial development, began in 1980. A long history of permit applications, challenges, appeals, disputed approvals,

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APPENDIX A 177 and legal maneuvering preceded construction work from 1990 to 1992, and assessment and dispute has continued since then. A series of air collusion exposure and risk studies were conducted during the early plan , , , . , ,- , ,~,. , ,. . ~ . ... . ~ ~ . 1 mng period, with a new formal effort tor risk assessment 1mtlatea oy tne U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 and continuing with review and updates to the present. These studies have been supple- mented by a series of controversial test burns that began at the end of 1992. The site has been the subject of much scientific, technical, and political debate on the safety and appropriateness of incineration, captur- ing the attention of the national media and producing impacts on national EPA policy and presidential politics. The EPA efforts at risk assessment of the WTI facility initially focused on the cancer risks to the population and to the hypothetical maximally exposed individual that would be associated with permitted, routine air releases from the incinerator stack and subsequent exposure through in- halation and ingestion of water and locally grown food, including meat and dairy products. Contaminants of concern included dioxin and other stack emissions. More recently, following review, the risk assessment was broadened to include health, safety, and ecological concerns, includ- ing releases during startup, shutdown and malfunction/upset conditions, and on-site and off-site transportation accident risks (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1993a; A.T. Kearney, Inc., 1993; Johnson, 1996~. Draft results of the risk assessment, still undergoing peer review, suggest that cancer risks are less than 1 in 106 for a nearby resident, and that noncancer health risks and risks from accidents and ecological impact are low and acceptable Johnson, 1996~. These results, and the belief by many that the WTI facility is "world class," with the best state-of-the-art pollution con- trol equipment available, form the basis for arguments by proponents that continued operation will be both safe and profitable. Yet significant controvery remains. For many, the debate over the specifics of the WTI risk assessment has served only as a surrogate for continuing societal concerns over broader issues, including the role and suitability of incineration as a haz- ardous waste management option. The uncertainy and controversy sur- rounding dioxin has also affected the WTI risk debate, as it has at other incinerator sites. Beyond this, some people believe that approving the operation of any hazardous waste management technology provides an incentive for continued production and distribution of chlorinated or other potentially hazardous compounds. These systematic concerns ebb and flow into any local debate over incineration, but they are often pushed off the screen in formal risk assessment and risk characterizations for a proposed project. The current risk assessment efforts are for a facility already built and

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188 UNDERSTANDING RISK: INFORMING DECISIONS IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY sibility casts a shadow over the entire process of risk characterization and decision making in government agencies. It is especially significant for approaches that make special efforts to broaden participation, because the success of an interest group in going outside a deliberative process can increase alienation and mistrust on the part of participants who were coaxed, perhaps reluctantly, to participate in a process they did not ini- tially fully trust. SITING A POWER PLANT WITH THE AID OF DECISION ANALYSIS TOOLS In the late 1980s, the Florida Power Corporation (FPC) began a search for one preferred and two alternate sites for a 3,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant. Knowing that public scrutiny would be keen, FPC decided to avoid the traditional failings of a decide-announce-defend approach to siting by drawing multiple perspectives into the site selection process early on. Two groups a committee made up of FPC managers and staff and an Environmental Advisory Group (EAG) composed of eight high- profile figures in Florida engaged in a decision-making process that employed multiattribute utility analysis to help make the issues transpar- ent and logical and to focus the debate in a constructive manner. By all apparent measures, the process was successful. The EAG had clear and specific influence in the site selection process, and licensing is under way without opposition at the selected site. Multiattribute Utility Analysis Multiattribute utility analysis is a technique for formally drawing multiple perspectives and evaluations into a decision making process. It begins with the working assumption that decisions have multiple goals, not all of which are equally important. Differences are attributed to the particular interests of the interested and affected parties and the decision makers. The technique makes these differences (and similarities) lucid by eliciting from participants their subjective judgments about the impor- tance of outcomes (subjective utilities) and using these as a basis for com- parison. The goal is not to reach a forced "consensus" through averaging, but to clarify positions and to test the feasibility of various policy objec tives. A typical approach in multiattribute utility analysis begins by asking each participant or group of participants to list and set priorities among the criteria that they would use to evaluate the decision options. For example, in a siting case, one person may value visibility of the facility from the town center as paramount, while another may emphasize noise

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APPENDIX A 189 or emission levels. With the help of a decision analyst, these criteria ar organized into a hierarchy called a "value tree." Value trees can be com- posed for individuals and for groups. The next step is to assign relative weights to each criterion. As the criteria are arranged hierarchically, each "branch" is given a relative weighting. For example, all criteria having to do with aesthetics might be grouped as one branch of the tree, while another branch may include all criteria concerning emissions. There is no single right way to group or weight the criteria; rather, the goal is to make certain that the result accurately reflects the concerns and judgments of the participants. "Twigs" on each branch are indicators or measures of how well a decision option performs on that criterion. Overall scores for decision options from the perspective of a participant can be computed by first applying the indicators and then summing each weighted branch using simple algebra. Multiattribute utility analysis requires coordination between delib- eration and analysis at two levels. First, the computation of scores, an analytic procedure, follows deliberation in which values are elicited, dis- cussed, peer-tested, and revised. Deliberation plays a major role when this analysis deals with groups of people rather than individuals. For example, in the Florida Power Corporation case, two different groups did separate analyses, and in each group, the members deliberated to reach agreement on the evaluative criteria and their relative weightings. The different results allowed for further interaction and learning. Analysis and deliberation are also intertwined in quantification. De- pending on the nature of the indicators and the available data, measures may be made by technical procedures (such as measuring the permeabil- ity of subsurface soils), or quantification that may be highly subjective (such as nuisance from additional traffic). Analysis provides the former measures; deliberation arrives at ways to quantify factors that are not readily measured. Deliberation is also important in reading and inter- preting numbers that combine such disparate kinds of indicators. The Decision Process Florida Power Corporation was assisted by consultants specializing in decision analysis techniques. Their task was to elicit evaluative criteria from the FPC group and the EAG, operating separately, and then to help the groups come to consensus on how to weight the criteria relative to each other. This was accomplished in a step-wise manner, beginning with a large search area and a few general criteria and working toward more specific criteria and a narrower search area. In between EAG meet- ings, the consultants would apply the criteria to the potential sites. The results were presented at the following meeting. Exclusionary and screen

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190 UNDERSTANDING RISK: INFORMING DECISIONS INA DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ing criteria were used to eliminate unworthy sites from future consider- ation. Potentially suitable sites were ranked using each group's weighted criteria. Results from the FPC group were shared with the EAG and vice versa. As a result, the FPC group reconsidered certain weightings, and the two groups' judgments came closer together as the project progressed. The final site chosen was highly recommended by both groups. The siting study was conducted in five phases and took more than 18 months to complete. Each phase was based on successively more refined data and criteria. Input from the EAG was used only in Phases II, IV, and V, due to limitations on the amount of work the EAG was able to under- take. It is in these phases where the interplay of analysis and deliberation can be seen most clearly. The EAG, as noted above, was made of eight high-profile individuals, including local and state government officials, academics, an environ- mental attorney, and representatives of environmental and business groups. Its purpose was to bring multiple values and perspectives into the siting process early on. This approach demanded significant contri- butions from the sponsoring company and the individuals who agreed to serve on the EAG. Over a year's time, the EAG convened regularly for all-day meetings. Ideal MUA procedure would be to elicit the evaluative criteria from the EAG and the FPC group from scratch. Because of time constraints the consultants, working with staff from FPC, developed a preliminary set of working criteria and measurement indicators. These were used as a start- ing point for the EAG. Using a structured elicitation protocol, the con- sultants' first step in Phase II was to have the EAG review and modify the preliminary list to better suit their needs. Phase II proceeded in six steps: 1. The consultants elicited a set of criteria and weights from the FPC panel. 2. Using the FPC criteria (though not its weights) as a starting point, a set of criteria and weights was elicited from the EAG; see Table A-1. The EAG supplemented its list with justifications and explanations. 3. The FPC group reviewed the results from the EAG and modified its criteria set to match the EAG set. As Table A-1 shows, it also modified many weights in the direction of the EAG weights. Wetlands disruption was revised from a weight of 54 to 14, very close to the EAG's value of 15. Based on argument given by the EAG, the FPC group decided to prefer sites that were already near a disturbed area, and they added this new criterion to their list. The FPC group then increased weighting on several other criteria (effects on county tax base, disturbed areas, sensitive land uses, surface water, and terrestrial communities), bringing them closer to

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APPENDIX A TABLE A-1 Criteria and Weighting for Power Plant Site Selection 191 FPC Initial EAG FPC Final CriteriaWeight Weight Weight Impact on Surface Water Quality11 15 19 Wetlands Disruption54 15 14 Proximity to Disturbed Areasnot used 19 11 Proximity to Sensitive Terrestrial Communities6 15 11 Proximity to Sensitive Land Uses6 15 11 Proximity to Class I Air Quality Areas10 12 11 Impact on County Tax Base3 10 11 Proximity to Urbanized Areas6 0 11 Existing Air Sources6 0 0 Total102 101 99 the EAG weights. On only one criterion, proximity to urbanized area, did the FPC group's weighting grow further apart from the EAG's. 4. The consultants used the EAG criteria and weights to rank the 172 areas and select 59 sites. 5. The consultants used the FPC criteria and weights to rank the 172 areas and select 57 sites. 6. The consultants combined the two sets of selected sites and set a cutoff threshold in collaboration with FPC staff and after considering graphical plots of the site evaluations. Because of the FPC group's shift in weights, there was agreement on 55 areas sites: 4 were selected only by the EAG and 2 were selected only by the FPC group. All 61 sites were sent to Phase III for further consideration. The single criterion added by the EAG was quite significant. FPC's set included criteria that selected for sites away from people and areas of development. Fearing that a remote site would promote sprawl, the EAG advocated sites on already "disturbed" land near, but not directly on, existing settlements, which could house and support the plant's employ- ees. After much deliberation, the EAG discovered it could capture these concerns with a criterion called "Proximity to Disturbed Areas." That criterion was the highest weighted by the EAG and the third highest

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192 UNDERSTANDING RISK: INFORMING DECISIONS IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY weighted (ultimately) by the FPC. The effect of combining that criterion with the others favoring sites far from people was to select for remote, but not environmentally attractive areas. In fact, the site ultimately selected was just such a site. In sum, the EAG affected the Phase II ranking in three ways. First, it added an important criterion that FPC had not originally included. Sec- ond, it assigned different weights among the criteria than did the FPC group, and the resulting different rankings were used to select a different set of sites than would have been selected by the FPC group alone. Third, it encouraged the FPC group to modify its criteria set to match the EAG set and to modify its weights in the direction of the EAG weights. Those modified criteria and weights were used in the FPC ranking and selection of potential sites for Phase III. The EAG role in the Phase IV ranking and Phase V selection closely paralleled its role in Phase II. The EAG added two criteria in Phase IV: "Potential for Broader Purpose" and "Regional Urbanization." It recog- nized that at some sites in particular, the power plant could fulfill "broader purposes," such as: the use of damaged land that would other- wise remain a blight; the basis for conservation easements or other forms of land preservation; the use of waste for fuel or sewage for cooling; and heat cogeneration. A three-point scale was developed for rating potential for broader purpose. The EAG also recognized that a power plant could be a large burden on the infrastructure of a remote area. Therefore, it suggested a criterion favoring sites with development near enough to provide infrastructure support. The measure selected was size of popula- tion within 9 to 25 miles. Phases III and IV reduced the number of sites from 61 to 21 to 6. In Phase V, each group confirmed the ranking of the six candidate sites and then selected the preferred and two alternate sites on the basis ofthat ranking. Rankings in Phases IV and NT were done with 11 criteria that were elicited, along with their weights, jointly from the FPC group and the EAG. Additional Features of the Case The iterative process used in this instance had several benefits. First, it allowed an efficient targeting and use of data collection and analysis resources. The entire study area was first examined at a coarse scale of data, and more promising potential sites were examined at a finer level of detail. Money and time were saved by not collecting detailed data about unpromising areas. Second, iteration between the FPC group and the EAG allowed the former to revise its own criteria and weights. This process moved the two groups' judgments closer together. Third, the

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APPENDIX A 193 process built trust among the members of the EAG, who initially sus- pected that their inputs would not make a difference. The use of EAG input to revise the map of areas to be considered for further study con- vinced EAG members of the intention of FPC to actually use their inputs in the selection of the sites. The value elicitation procedure resulted in a useful value tree graphic that looks like an organization chart. The graphic helped the participants by clearly relating the overall mission of the project to the criteria and the specific indicators used to assess the adequacy of possible sites. The graphic and the process that generated it made clear multiple perspec- tives. Building a weighted list of concrete criteria and indicators focused discussion, thereby discouraging posturing and vague rhetoric. People directed their concerns toward the goal of improving the collective value tree. In the FPC case, multiattribute utility analysis techniques helped in- corporate multiple concerns into the site-selection decision and resulted in a transparent decision-making process that has acquired a high degree of public acceptance. The licensing for the preferred site is proceeding in a relatively smooth way. Using this analytic approach does not, however, guarantee that all participants' ideas are meaningfully included in an analytic-deliberative process or that the resulting rankings are meaning- ful (Brody and Rosen, 1994~. Neither does this approach, even when used sensitively, guarantee noncontroversial siting of contentious facilities when it is becoming increasingly difficult to license any large, locally unpopular facility. Nevertheless, it is encouraging that people from di- verse perspectives could reach agreement on the siting of a 3,000 mega- watt coal-fired power plant. Another encouraging sign is that two of the members of the EAG-in fact, two who would in other circumstances be expected to oppose actions by FPC have gone on public record on their own initiative in support of the siting process. THE CALIFORNIA COMPARATIVE RISK PROJECT When California began its comparative risk project (CCRP), four states had already completed similar studies and 10 others were under way. Comparative risk projects work from the assumption that policy priori- ties of environmental problems should be determined, at least in part, by the magnitude of the risk each problem presents (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1987~. While the CCRP workplan (California Envi- ronmental Protection Agency, 1992:i) emphasized ranking risks using "good scientific minds together to help establish the 'best science,"' it also realized that deliberation among scientists would not be a sufficient basis to set policy priorities. The California project paid explicit attention to the

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194 UNDERSTANDING RISK: INFORMING DECISIONS IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY need for broader participation in its initial process design (California En- vironmental Protection Agency, 1992:2~: The responsibility for protecting California's environment applies not only to government, but also depends on the involvement of individuals with academic, industrial, business, activist, residential, and political ~n- terests within the State.... We will conduct the comparative risk project in such a way as to allow for all opinions to be accounted for, since the project is dedicated to expanding the public's ability to make important decisions about the fate of their environment. Direct citizen participation did not play as large a role as this state- ment might suggest. Still, the CCRP was significant because it recognized the need for broadly participatory deliberation and for a broad agenda for risk analysis it presumed that social, economic, and equity concerns would have to be included in any risk ranking scheme. This was evident in both the way the problem was formulated and the fact that the CCRP was willing to modify its process design as a result of deliberation about whether it would produce the needed information. The initial process design developed by the California EPA as a result of its diagnosis of the situation called for three technical committees on human health, ecological health, and social welfare- to work indepen- dently to rank risks in their categories, while three other committees would consider management options and the legal and economic con- straints associated with making those choices (California Environmental Protection Agency, 1992~. In a second phase, the risk rankings of the three committees were to be integrated during a two-day statewide sympo- sium. This design seemed to have analysis preceding deliberation and to confine the participation of nontechnical people to the decision-making phase of the project. Soon after the project began, this process design was challenged on the grounds that the technical committees could not be expected to pro- duce purely objective risk rankings. The technical analysis would be permeated, some said, with policy considerations at various levels. One argument was that the use of population-risk estimates left risk managers blind to the inequitable distribution of risk among subpopulations. This concern led to the creation of an environmental justice committee to ad- dress such issues. The original process design was also altered to include more feedback and interaction among the technical committees and to include critics of a conventional risk analysis approach. The new process design comprised two "components" operating in parallel with significant cross-fertilization. One involved the original three technical committees, using their knowledge of quantitative risk assessments in order to rate the impacts of various environmental condi

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APPENDIX A 195 lions on the broad areas of human health, environment, and social wel- fare. The other comprised three committees that supplemented the tech- nical risk assessments with social and economic concerns. One of these committees, the environmental justice committee, raised additional con- cerns (e.g., social equity) for inclusion in the risk rankings and also addi- tional options (pollution prevention) for consideration (California Envi- ronmental Protection Agency, 1994~. In doing these things, the committee called into question the initial problem formulation as too narrow. Its perspective found its way into the criteria finally used to rank the social welfare and human health impacts of environmental stressors (equity was one of the criteria adopted, although pollution prevention was not), and into the CCRP's final report in the form of committee recommenda- tions and a "critique of the risk-ranking model." Each technical committee reached a surprising level of agreement on rankings considering the great diversity of backgrounds among each committee's members. Nonetheless, the CCRP generated considerable controversy, particularly over some of the more subjective social welfare outcomes, such as "peace of mind," that it endorsed as important (Stone, 1994~. The CCRP's statewide Community Advisory Committee decided not to integrate all three rankings into a common list because of time constraints, concerns over technical issues involved in reducing the three very different rankings into a single ranking, and discomfort about in- cluding in any "technical" ranking what some characterized as "subjec- tive" and "nonscientific" social welfare rankings. Some trade organiza- tions went directly to the press and the governor's office with the concern that "California has come up with a new and controversial method of evaluating environmental risk that downplays the traditional role of sci- ence and takes into account people's values, opinion, fears, and anxieties" (Clifford, 1994:A1~. In election year politics, the state government dis- tanced itself from the CCRP report: although it released the report, it did not publicize its results or apparently use its rankings in setting priorities. Despite this immediate outcome in state politics and the fact that the project did not fulfill all of its own objectives, the project is instructive because it brought together conventional forms of risk analysis with analy- sis and deliberation about various social, economic, equity, and other concerns. It demonstrates the importance of iteration in process design, particularly the use of deliberation to revisit the provisional problem for- mulation and the process design that emerged from the diagnostic phase, and the links between process design and problem formulation. The new process did not reduce controversy, but it did make explicit some of the different views of the nature of environmental problems underlying envi- ronmental policy conflicts in the state. The longer-term effects of the project remain to be seen. One possibil

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196 UNDERSTANDING RISK: INFORMING DECISIONS IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIE~ ity is that the project's methods and findings may be reconsidered at a later date. Another, less sanguine, possibility is that events may have made it more difficult to organize future broadly based risk deliberations in California because many participants who worked hard on the project may have been alienated. Some saw concerns they judged to be legiti- mate and essential successfully painted as unscientific and therefore un- worthy of consideration by others (some of whom also participated), working outside the process. Some volunteered considerable time and effort to technical analyses and deliberations and, acting on good faith, agreed with others (with whom they publicly disagreed in other forums) on rankings, only to see their hard work set aside by the political process. PLANNING FUTURE LAND USES AT HANFORD, WASHINGTON Hanford is a 560-square-mile site on the Columbia River that was used for decades by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its prede- cessors for the production of nuclear materials for national defense. Air, water, and soil at the site have been contaminated with radioactive mate- rials. Since the mission of the site ended in the 1980s, attention has turned toward restoring its environment and preparing the location for future uses. As part of this project, the DOE is required to complete an environ- mental impact statement (EIS) that would determine potential impacts associated with the cleanup and restoration projects. DOE decided to seek participation by representatives of a wide range of governments (federal, state, tribal, local) and various other organizations and interest groups in planning the EIS and identifying alternative scenarios for fu- ture use of the site. Customarily, an EIS begins with a scoping process to identify all envi- ronmental issues that are likely to be significant in the assessment. Scoping is meant to make the impact analysis more efficient by focusing attention on realistic issues and concerns. It involves defining assessment objectives and is similar to problem formulation as described in this re- port. Risk assessments are likely to be part of any EIS concerning a hazardous waste site, and the scoping process is a way of ensuring that the policy options and possible harms addressed in the assessments are consistent with the needs of the decision makers and affected parties. DOE, in collaboration with EPA, the Oregon and Washington state governments, and county and tribal governments of the region composed a list of potential participants for the Hanford Future Site Use Working Group, including both public officials and interested and affected parties, to advise on the EIS (Hanford Future Sites Working Group, 1992~. One of the most noteworthy features of this effort was that the process design for

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APPENDIX A 197 the working group was not imposed in advance, but was created only after conducting interviews with the prospective members. Each candi- date was asked what would make the process successful, and each was also asked to nominate other potential participants. By obtaining this feedback at the start, the organizers bettered the chances that the eventual EIS would serve the needs of the interested and affected populations. Three things emerged from the interviews as important: the process should consider a wide variety of viewpoints, it should provide a com- mon base of information about the site, and the decision-making agencies should commit to using the products of the process in their decision making. With the assistance of a professional facilitation team, the working group drafted its own charter, specifying its purpose and the scope of its work. The main task was to identify alternative scenarios for cleanup and future site use, based on the participants' visions and influencing factors. The group agreed to focus on how cleanup and future site uses would be connected to each other essentially specifying some outcomes to be sub- jected to analysis in the EIS. The working group also decided not to seek consensus on a preference for future site uses, but to emphasize common- alities among the options generated. It also decided to make all decisions by consensus. A significant feature of the Hanford Future Site Uses Working Group was that the participants identified the information they needed. Since each participant represented a specific constituency, the information needs were linked with the participants' objectives. After reviewing ex- isting information and visiting the site, the group composed a list of needed educational seminars and information. This resulted in 34 pre- sentations by expert teams at various meetings of the working group. A huge amount of information is available on the history, use, and present condition of the Hanford site. While the working group noted important gaps in data and potential uncertainties, it did not have the resources or time to initiate any specific studies. However, it did identify needs for future data collection and analysis. The working group met five times over a 6-month period, and partici- pants were expected to consult with their constituencies in the time be- tween meetings to get wider input. The group issued draft recommenda- tions with consensual support and brought them to the public for review and comment at eight "open houses" in various locations in Washington and Oregon. The draft report was revised to reflect the comments re- ceived. The working group made nine major recommendations in addition to specifying general future use options and cleanup scenarios for different areas of the Hanford site. Several of the general recommendations had to

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198 UNDERSTANDING RISK: INFORMING DECISIONS INA DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY do with possible outcomes that the working group asserted should be strongly considered in any impact assessment: treaty rights of Native American tribes (especially access to religious sites); stopping and pre- venting contamination of the Columbia River and cleaning up groundwa- ter; access to contaminated areas; public awareness of waste shipments; and jobs and regional economic impacts. The working group did not offer a complete list of possibly significant outcomes, nor did it rank their importance. The bulk of the working group's recommendations concerned: (a) defining eight general future use options for each subarea of the Hanford site, (b) listing some specific and important possible outcomes relevant to that area (e.g., effects on cultural sites, wildlife, and industry), and (c) defining the cleanup scenarios necessary to assure the safety of each fu- ture use. Cleanup levels were delineated according to access restrictions, which would be based on health risk assessments. This case illustrates how a risk decision-making process can use tech- niques for deliberation and public review in combination with analysis to arrive at a widely acceptable formulation of the problem and to design a process that is likely to characterize risks in a way that meets the needs of the interested and affected parties and public officials. DOE is seriously considering the working group's recommendations. Before preparing the draft EIS, DOE staff prepared an implementation plan that assimilated the recommendations of the working group. In a truly iterative process, the DOE staff reconvened the working group 1 year after its dissolution to confirm that its recommendations had been properly interpreted by DOE in the EIS implementation plan. The entire working group recommenda- tion document was included in the draft EIS scoping chapter, as the work- ing group had requested. DOE has found the process valuable enough to require similar future use working groups at all of its cleanup sites. DOE's reliance on local public involvement, however, remains controversial (see, e.g., Blush and Heitman, 1995), and the ultimate effect of the process on cleanup at Hanford remains to be seen. Because the underlying issues remain intensely controversial, a policy consensus may remain elusive even if the EIS addresses all the parties' questions.