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Hazardous Waste Facility Siting: Community, Firm, and Governmental Perspectives ROGER E. KASPERSON With widespread urbanization and technological development, with increasing pressure upon land, and with growing concern over environmen- tal and health protection, siting controversial facilities of all sizes and kinds has become increasingly difficult and has emerged as a national policy problem of major significance (Popper, 1983~. Nowhere are the difficulties greater and the stakes higher than the perplexing issue of how and where to locate radioactive and other hazardous waste facilities. Clearly this issue, so centrally related to choice and fairness, will be one of the key emerging hazard problems over the next decade. The stakes are not insignificant. For example, the low-level radioactive waste siting program, still requiring a relatively small number of facilities nationally, has opened a Pandora's box of problems. The stake for society involves a broad spectrum of industries, hospitals, and biomedical research facilities, as well as nuclear power plants (Welch, 1985~. It is already appar- ent that the initial deadlines set by the Low Level Radioactive Waste Act of 1980 will not be met- indeed will be badly missed and the problems of political fragmentation and management issues to be resolved in mounting a coherent national program appear to be expanding rasher then shrinking. All this has occurred during the initial stage of forming regional compacts for waste-disposal efforts except for one state (Texas), the tough job of siting has not even begun. This paper undertakes three tasks: 1. to characterize the key problems involved in siting radioactive and other hazardous waste facilities; 118

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PERSPECTIVES ON H~Z~RDOUS HASTE CECILIA SITING 119 2. to examine the adequacy of the current approaches to facility siting underlying current national and state waste management programs in light of the problems; and 3. to suggest some of the ingredients of an improved approach to waste facility siting. KEY PROBLEMS IN FACILITY SITING Although hazardous wastes facilities share a number of problems with other unwanted facilities, they present a different configuration of impact on these problems. They also reveal some risk and choice considerations not found in many other siting tasks. The major issues contributing to diff~cul- ties in siting are the lack of a systems approach, uncertainty of risk, public perceptions of risk, inequities in costs and benefits, institutional distrust, difficulties in communication about risk, and the availability of ample insti- tutional means for resisting the imposition of unwanted waste facilities. The Needfor a Systems Approach By its nature, hazardous waste management requires a systems approach. As Figure 1 shows, the waste production process is a complex one, involv- ing numerous opportunities for management to reduce risks, to lower eco- nomic costs, and to recycle wastes to beneficial uses. All opportunities need to be weighed against one another to maximize health protection and eco- nomic efficiency and to minimize the transfer of risks to future generations. No less than waste management, facility siting is also a system activity. The deployment of a waste management system requires a network of waste processing, storage, and disposal facilities, interconnected by waste trans- portation links. The network may be designed in ways that increase equity, minimize risk, and lower costs, or, alternatively, produce the reverse effects. This is apparent in Figures 2 and 3, which show the implications of a centralized versus a regional siting strategy for high-level radioactive waste repositories. The centralized system creates a national system of waste movement involving many nonnuclear states in risks, public concern, and regulatory burdens. The regional system, by contrast, minimizes such prob- lems, thereby suggesting the importance of the underlying policy choice. Unfortunately current hazardous waste facility strategies tend to be facility-specific. Most of the state laws governing hazardous nonradioactive waste facility siting are geared to the process for siting a given facility. Low- level radioactive waste facility siting, because ofthe scale ofthe institutional structure, addresses the siting of a single facility. Network and systems

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120 G ROGER E. K~SPERSON A Raw Materials 1 ` . ~ I Proc eases I - 1 . | Nonecor omic | ~Manufactured | ~ Economic Residuals | | Products | L Byproducts 1 1 ~ ~H Hazardous Other Waste Waste 1 , ~ _ Waste Reduction through Minimization and Abatement F Waste Reduction | | Conversion to | | Placement in the | through Alec cl n Less Hazar Gus or Reuse Y 9 J ~ or Nonhazardous FIGURE 1 The waste production process. SOURCE: National Research Council (1985, p. 19).

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PERSPECTIVES ON H~Z~RDOUS PASTE F~ClLl~ SITING 123 considerations receive little treatment in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and only belatedly are being addressed by the U.S. Department of Energy, with regional distribution questions unresolved. Risk Uncertainty Varying degrees of uncertainty characterize the health implications of waste facility siting. Generally there appears to be little chance of massive uncontrolled releases of radioactive or other hazardous wastes into the envi- ronment from well-designed disposal facilities (U.S. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment, 1983, p. 464. Risk assessments of high-level radioactive waste repositories provide some confidence that the U. S. Envi- ronmental Protection Agency's health objective of a limit of 1,000 deaths over a 10,000-year period in its environmental standard for those wastes may be met. On the other hand, residual risks unquestionably exist. The long time periods that characterize the waste disposal task, the limited experience with repository design and behavior, the necessary reliance on computer models for simulating waste behavior, and limitations on model validation and remaining gaps in scientific knowledge all suggest that uncertainties will remain. For land disposal (should it occur) of hazardous nonradioactive wastes, these uncertainties may be particularly substantial because of lim- ited knowledge of: the likely quantity and timing of releases of particular constituents; the rates of transport of released hazardous constituents through the environment and their rates of degradation in the environment; the extent of possible exposures of people and the environment to persistent hazardous constituents and their degradation products; and the probability of damages (U.S. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment, 1983, pp. 22-23~. Compounding these uncertainties is the fact that there is generally inade- quate scientific knowledge to decide which locations are best for specific hazardous wastes (U.S. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment, 1983, p. 20~. All this suggests that given the magnitude of the siting task with hundreds of facilities needed some failures and releases must be expected and that authoritative statements linking the disposal of hazardous wastes at a particular location with associated long-term effects on health and the environment are not possible. Such risk uncertainties not only complicate the management task but exacerbate public concerns about the dangers posed by a particular suggested disposal facility. All this supports a policy

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124 ROGER E. NEWSPERSON initiative to ban the land disposal of hazardous waste, leaving, however, the siting of hazardous waste treatment facilities and radioactive waste disposal . . . as contmulng issues. Public Perception of Risk Whatever the actual public health and environmental risks posed by new facilities for disposal of hazardous waste, they undoubtedly pale in compari- son with what the public believes they are. There can be no doubt that members of the public perceive substantial dangers from such facilities and are intensely concerned about them. Indeed, community responses to haz- ardous waste threats share similarities (as well as several key differences) with contagious hysteria (Schwartz et al., 1985~. Intense concern is apparent in the controversy that nearly always erupts whenever search activities are conducted for a radioactive or other hazardous waste disposal facility. It is also apparent in the findings from a significant accumulation of polls, sur- veys, attitude studies, and psychometric research. A 1980 national poll conducted by Robert Mitchell at Resources for the Future (U.S. Council on environmental Quality, 1980) found that only lOto 12 percent of the American public would voluntarily live a mile or less from either a nuclear power plant or a hazardous waste disposal site, whereas 25 percent would accept a coal-fired power plant and nearly 60 percent a 10- story office building (Figure 4) at this distance. Further, majority acceptance for the hazardous waste disposal site occurred only at distances greater than 100 miles from the site despite assurances in the poll that the facility "would be built and operated according to government environmental and safety regulations" and that "disposal could be done safely and that the site would be inspected regularly for possible problems" (U.S. Council on Environ- mental Quality, 1980, p. 30~. Highly consistent with these results are those achieved using a similar approach in a recent study (Lindell and Earle, 1983) that assessed attitudes toward living near some eight different industrial facilities. Respondents rated each on 13 different risk dimensions and indicated the minimum dis- tance they would be willing to live from each. The resulting attitude struc- ture revealed three relatively distinct clusters (Figure 5~. The least accept- able high-risk facility group included the nuclear waste and toxic chemical disposal facilities and the nuclear power plans. They were judged by respon- dents to pose a high threat to workers, the public, and future generations and to have risks that are less known and less preventable, are catastrophic, and are associated with many deaths over their operating life (Lindell and Earle, 1983, p. 249~. The factors underlying the perception of high danger and contributing to

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PERSPECTIVES ON H~1Z~RDOUS BASTE F~ClLI~ SITING 100 90 80 70 60 a' C7) - a' 50 Cat 40 30 20 a . ~__ ~,' _ _ -- ~ _ ~ ~ 10story /~ ~ A/ all office building/ / ~I _ I', ~ / '' / ~ I/ ~ ~/ ~Disposalsite // '' / / for hazardous // //waste chemicals i/ Large factory / /// ~ I// _ / I J// _/ _ / / OCR for page 118
126 Toxic chemical disposal facility Nuclear waste disposal facility 0%1 t' , 25% Nuclear waste disposal facility ROGER E. KASPE;RSON LNG storage area Nuclear l power plant t t. ~ ~ ~ ! 1 i5'0% I nsecticide factory Oil | refinery Nuclear power plant Oil power plant Oil refinery | Coal power plant . ~ apt . _ ~ Natural gas power plant Oil power plant LNG storage area Natural gas power plant Coal power plant ~ annoys FIGURE 5 Acceptance scale for eight different facilities in two surveys. Upper data from 1981; lower date from 1978. SOURCE: From Lindell and Earle (1983, p. 249). fear of hazardous waste facilities are not well understood, but substantial insight is afforded in the psychometric studies of risk perception. Psycholo- gists at Decision Research, Inc., have conducted a series of experiments on attitudes toward risky technologies and activities and have published a num- ber of findings of direct importance to understanding public response in this area: Although members of the public can order risks from highest to lowest in terms of expected fatalities reasonably well, there are striking discrepan- cies (as for nuclear power, for example). These discrepancies appear to be related to qualitative attributes of risk, such as dread, likelihood that a mishap would be fatal, and catastrophic potential of the hazard. Perceived risk is influenced (and sometimes biased) by the imaginabil- ity and memorability of the hazard. Particular technologies are viewed as having enormous disaster poten- tials, which contribute to the perception that they are risky technologies and to strong public concern about them (Slovic et al., 19821. The various opinion surveys suggest that radioactive and other hazardous wastes share many of the attributes associated with particularly feared technologies they are dread, relatively "new" hazards, seen as likely to be fatal, and viewed as having catastrophic potential. These views have been shaped by highly memorable events such as the leaks at low-level radioac- tive waste sites, Love Canal, and the extensive media coverage of the Superfund cleanup program. It is likely that many individuals fail to distin- guish between the indiscriminate past dumping of wastes and the proposed new waste repositories. Further, since substantial evidence indicates that people's beliefs change slowly and are extraordinarily persistent in the face of contrary evidence (Slovic et al., 1982) "unsparing" people, to use Wein- berg's (1977, p. 55) term, through the provision of information will prove extraordinarily difficult. Meanwhile each new additional waste site discov- ery and each of the mishaps certain to occur in the network of new sites will

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PERSPECTlV~S ON H~Z~RDOUS HASTE F~CILl~ SITING 127 be taken as evidence of the high risk and confirmatory to the validity of the individual's perception. Other taxonomic work on hazards is no more encouraging. The Clark University taxonomy (Hohenemser et al., 1983) classifies hazards by 12 biophysical attributes, resulting in 5 major factors and a taxonomy of 7 major classes. Although hazardous nonradioactive wastes are not included, radioactive wastes score in the "multiple extreme hazards," sharing com- pany with such other potable hazards as nuclear war (radiation), nuclear tests (fallout), nerve gas (accidents), pesticides (toxic effects), and recombinant DNA (Hohenemser et al., 1983, Table 3, p. 3811. Since the taxonomy has proved successful in predicting public response, it suggests that the high concern over radioactive (and probably other hazardous) wastes is rooted in "real" properties ofthe hazards and is unlikely to disappear under the impact of fuller and more accurate information. In their taxonomy of 162 technological controversies, von Winterfeldt and Edwards (1984) recognize 3 major classes: food/drug/consumer prod- ucts, industrial development, and technological mysteries and value threats. Contrary to the assumption held by some that siting a hazardous waste disposal facility is akin to locating other large-scale facilities (such as dams, airports, or the Alaskan pipeline), it is apparent that hazardous waste facili- ties fall into the class of "technological mysteries and value threats." This group contains the most dramatic controversies, involving the potential for disaster or possessing dread side effects that threaten social values. The debate in such controversies oscillates between factual disagreements and value disputes, receives widespread media coverage, and involves a broad spectrum of "stakeholders." In considering appropriate tools for resolution of this class of controversies, von Winterfeldt and Edwards conclude that compensation, bargaining, and negotiation will, because of the shifting debate and the presence of moral considerations, be less effective than for other controversies. They call for the creation of institutional mechanisms that involve stakeholders committed to resolution of the issues (von Winter- feldt and Edwards, 1984, pp. 67-681. All this suggests that perceived risk is a central problem in siting of hazardous waste facilities, that public perceptions are rooted in "objective" characteristics of the risks, that the risk issues interact with related value conflicts, and that the underlying attitudes are likely to be persistent and difficult to change. Equity and the Ethics of Risk Imposition Inequity, it is widely held, is a key underlying problem for the siting of hazardous waste facilities. Indeed, for many it is the problem. Consider the

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128 ROGER E. K~1SPERSON following from the 1981 policy statement of the National Governors' Asso . ciat~on: Once a site is identified, the community objects to being the dumping ground for the state or region. It opposes the proposed facility because the benefits will flow to the owner, operator, waste-generating industnes, and the public at-large (which fears "midnight" dumping), while the risks will be concentrated locally in their community [NationalGovernors' Association, 1981, p. 1341. Despite the wealth of allusion to locational equity, searching treatments of either component are quite rare. The current empirical understanding of the distribution of likely impact from a hazardous waste facility at a particular site is quite limited. Reasons for this limited knowledge include the rela- tively underdeveloped state of theory supporting analytic approaches to social impact assessment, the lack of comparative analysis using common methodology, the limited siting experience in recent years and the fact that some facilities will be first-of-a-kind, and the highly site-specific nature of social impacts. In one of the few thorough, empirical analyses of equity at a hazardous waste site, Kates and Braine (1983) painted a complex picture of gains and losses over more than a dozen locations stretching across the entire United States, including Puerto Rico. The gains and losses associated with the siting of a nuclear service center in western New York included benefits for certain corporations, government institutions, and local residents; losses for others; and mixed balance sheets for still others (Figure 6~. This experi- ence suggests that considerations relevant to impact distributions for hazard ous waste sites are: The "special" impacts associated with the perceived risk and social conflict arising at hazardous waste sites may exceed the more "conven- tional" impacts customarily associated with locating large industrial facili- ties in rural communities. The most serious socioeconomic risks are also the most likely to be poorly understood. Many socioeconomic risks (and perhaps health risks) will become apparent only during the siting process or over the long term, and a number of them will be essentially irreversible. Many socioeconomic risks, especially those associated with special effects, will prove extremely resistant to quantification as a basis for calcu- lating compensation. The residents of rural communities are among the most vulnerable members of society (Kasperson and Rubin, 1983; Murdock et al., 1983 Seley, 1983;NationalResearch Council, 19841. In regard to the normative principle for assessing the fairness of impact distribution, it is widely assumed that the principle should be the equaliza

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134 ROGER E. KaSPERSON ent in radioactive waste management programs. For example, the selection of the Hanford Reservation as the candidate site for a potential high-level radioactive waste repository despite evident problems with the geological medium is related to the presumed favorable inclination of local popula- tions. The apparent favorable political response of residents in the host area has also undoubtedly played a role in the exploration at the Yucca Mountain site adjacent to the Nevada Test Site. But the more striking recent case is that of Naturita, Colorado, and Edge- mont, South Dakota, two communities that have competed to be the site of a low-level waste repository within the regional compact system. Both are small, rural communities with boom-and-bust histories former uranium mining towns that are now suffering from depressed economies and unem- ployment. Both have been pursued by a private developer, Chem-Nuclear, with the blessing of regional compact officials who need a site. Naturita was disqualified, however, because of an evident potential for geological fault- ing and flash floods; Edgemont is still in the running with apparent local support but opposition from nearby communities and state environmental groups. Why would one object to such schemes, which deliver efficient market solutions? First, it is apparent that such procedures are objectionable on equity grounds, since burdens are disproportionately allocated either to poor communities that usually share little in the benefits of waste generation or to localities already so contaminated that additional health burdens are viewed passively. Second, the process of risk imposition is almost always objection- able: developers tend to withhold information or create intentional ambigu- ity (Seley, 1983, p. 34), the capacity for community participation tends to be minimal, and the means of redress are few. Finally, political opportunism in siting carries a potential for eroding the technical criteria necessary to ensure the safety of present and future generations and the economic efficiency of the waste disposal system. Approach 2: Imposition by Central Authority The rationale for the exercise of centralized state authority in the selection of sites in local areas is that the general well-being of society requires overriding individual (or local) interests. This may be done with or without compensation arrangements for redressing inequities and with varying degrees of local participation. The actual selection process frequently includes safeguards to ensure that the decision is fair and unbiased, guided by technical criteria aimed at protecting health and safety. A modified ver- sion of this approach is a higher authority's overriding, usually according to specified conditions, of a lower authority's decision accepting or rejecting a

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PERSPECTIVES ON HAZARDOUS HASTE CECILIA SITING 135 site in its territory. Such is the case with the siting of high-level radioactive waste repositories in which states are accorded a right to disapprove but such disapproval must be sustained by majority vote of one of the houses of Congress. For siting of repositories for hazardous nonradioactive waste, about 25 states employ some form of preemption to site facilities (Morel!, 1984, p. 5601. The key assumptions of site selection through imposition by central authority are as follows: Local concern over risk can be abated through an unbiased, technically oriented siting process using established means of public hearings and infor- mation dissemination. Higher authorities responsible for siting and the protection of public health possess sufficient credibility to command eventual local tolerance of the siting decision. Committed opponents will not succeed in producing lower government use of institutional means to resist the siting decision. Although special cases may exist in which these assumptions hold, they certainly are not valid generally. The public perception of risk evokes sub- stantial fear of sites, and this cannot be allayed by institutions that command little trust. In the absence of special efforts to achieve fairness, the chosen site almost invariably views itself as victimized. A higher authority's use of preemptive actions to overcome the opposition usually succeeds in escalat- ing the intensity of the opposition and broadening its scope. For these reasons, as Morell (1984, p. 560) points out, the power of central authority tends to be illusory. It is not surprising, then, that this approach (along with others) has failed to solve the problems of siting waste facilities. Approach 3: Bartered Consent The reaction to the evident problems with site imposition by central authority has produced a swing of the pendulum to a strategy of local accep- tance for sites through intergovernmental bartering. The central problems of siting, in this view, are the geographical dissociation of benefits and harms and the inability of the host area to share in the siting decision. This concep- tion of the siting problem leads readily to a clear solution provide compen- sation to the residents of a prospective host site and give them the means to bargain for the appropriate amount. Elsewhere in this volume, Howard Kunreuther provides a thoughtful review of a number of alternatives for compensation and incentive systems. Compensation and incentives serve four purposes:

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136 ROGER E. K~SPERSON 1. They change local motivation to oppose the facility "by reducing the costs each neighbor expects to suffer should the facility be built" (O'Hare et al., 1983, p; 701. 2. They help to redress equity. 3. They increase efficiency of facility planning because all costs and benefits are better accounted for (O'Hare et al., 1983, p. 701. 4. They promote "negotiation, as opposed to confrontation, in the resolu- tion of siting decisions" (O'Hare et al., 1983, p. 741. This notion of bartering for local acceptance of a facility site is at the heart of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, which provides a substantial role for the states in repository siting through the ambiguous process of "consul- tation and cooperation" (as changed from "consultation and concurrence"), the right to disapprove a site (which must be sustained by a house of Con- gress), and an impact-mitigation fund that has no specified limit. Congres- sional staff members involved in drafting the legislation indicate a clear sense in Congress that a large carrot (the mitigation fund), with the threat of a stick (presidential selection of the site) in the background, would ultimately . . win over a prospective nost state. In the case of hazardous nonradioactive waste, eight states have enacted compensation plans coupled with state preemption, whereas four others (Colorado, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin) have coupled compensation with shared authority, the classic bartering approach. The case of Massachusetts is particularly interesting because it was closely informed by the conceptual work of O'Hare, Bacow, and Sanderson (19831. The Massachusetts approach has a number of key ingredients: it gives the primary siting roles to the developer and the host community, requires a negotiated or arbitrated settlement between the two, includes impact mitiga- tion and compensation to the host community as key features of the siting agreement, limits the basis on which the community can exclude the facility, and submits impasses between developer and host community to an arbitra- tor (Bacow and Milkey, 1983, pp. 4-51. Bartered consent as an approach to siting of hazardous waste facilities rests upon four key assumptions: 1. The underlying problem that drives local opposition is the geographi- cal dissociation of benefits and risks. 2. Voluntary consent is achievable through incentives and through direct bilateral negotiations that define the terms of community acceptance. 3. The long-term impacts of the facility can be defined with sufficient precision to formulate an appropriate compensation package before siting. 4. The developer and state regulatory bodies can command sufficient

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PERSPECTIVES ON HAZARDOUS WASTE F~CLI77 SITING 137 social trust to reassure local fears over the facility and to withstand a conflict- laden community consideration process. All four assumptions are in doubt, if not outright wrong. The classic equity problem associated with large industrial facilities is simply not an accurate guide to that associated with hazardous waste facilities. Because perceived risk so dominates public response, risk minimization, risk alloca- tion, and risk sharing questions become the dominant equity problems. Accordingly, and as growing experience confirms, the prospect of compen- sation does not effectively lower the degree of perceived risk nor does it engender a propensity among local residents to trade off concerns. Rather, it is often viewed as a bribe, exacerbating the risk sharing issue and increasing suspicion and distrust of the developer and state agencies. Negotiations, as Raiffa (1982, p. 311) notes, depend upon perception that the process is fair and that there is more to be gained by cooperation than not. Such a reaction was particularly striking in a recent siting dispute in Germany (Kunreuther et al., 1984, p. 4821. Further, although not widely recognized, it is also the case that locational opportunism, with its objectionable ethical elements, remains operative in the bartered consent approach because it is the devel- oper (often in the private sector) who seeks out the potential sites. The literature of social impact assessment speaks convincingly to the current limited ability to identify (much less adequately measure) the impacts likely to accrue as the siting process and facility operation unfold (National Research Council, 1984, Ch. 4) so that needed compensation is, in fact, difficult to gauge. Finally, although the bartered-consent model envisions a community social dynamic geared to growing community con- sensus on the terms necessary for residents to accept a facility, the dynamic that actually occurs is one that shows the classic features of social protest: local efforts to mobilize social resources and to identify institutional oppor- tunities by which to resist the facility (Lipsky, 1968) . Approach 4: Fairness-Centered Process Although not widely discussed or adopted, a number of innovative approaches center upon improving the fairness of the risk allocation process and increasing the degree of social trust in the institutions responsible for the siting decision. Some versions also include substantial attention to conflict- resolution mechanisms. Generally they address two fundamental issues- the ethics of risk allocation and the distrust of social institutions-of the siting problems. Interestingly, most have addressed high-level radioactive wastes. According to a "siting jury" approach suggested by Lee (1980), an insti

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138 ROGER E. K~SPE~RSON tutional approach to siting must be able to manage conflict under conditions of high technological complexity and political uncertainty. In this scheme a siting jury would function through the various stages of the siting program. In the initial phase of national site searching, each state would appoint a state representative whose tenure would equal in duration the entire site-selection process. This would allow the mastering of scientific, managerial, and technical complexity and also provide a degree of judicial independence from political consideration. As the siting process progresses to particular regions and actual sites, the jury (except for the initially chosen juror from the area of interest) would change in composition to reflect the narrowing geographical focus. The author, in a recent study of equity issues in radioactive waste manage- ment (Kasperson, 1983, p. 351), has proposed a lottery mechanism for excepting sites from candidacy for a potential high-level waste repository. Noting that lottery mechanisms are often used for situations of feared risks when fairness of selection becomes an overriding requirement (for example, the draft, dangerous military missions), the authors argue that this mecha- nism can be integrated into a sound program of technical qualification of sites while increasing public confidence in the intrinsic fairness of risk allocation. TOWARD A NEW APPROACH More effective approaches to hazardous waste facility siting depend upon a clear conceptualization of the siting problem, a sound ethical base to guide the design of siting strategies and to begin the recovery of social trust, and a set of colicY tools bY which the strategy can be realized. rim , ~ , Conceptualizing the Siting Problem Current approaches to siting are prone to predictable failures because of misconceptualizations of the siting problem. It is crucial to understand that this is a systems-level, not a facility-level, task. Waste management must be undertaken with an understanding of the relationships between disposal strategies and opportunities for reducing the generation of waste. It is also clear that what is at stake is not the deployment of a facility but a network of waste generation, waste processing, waste movement, and storage or dis- posal, a system that needs to be integrated with land-use planning. Relative risks associated with alternative designs need to be assessed and built into decisions on system design. High levels of perceived risk and associated public concern will accompany the deployment of this system, fears that are almost certain to persist in the face of assurances, technical studies of risk,

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PERSPECTIVES ON HAZARDOUS PASTE CECILIA SITING 139 and the offering of compensation. Efforts to communicate with the affected public will be constrained by our limited ability to transfer risk information. Equity will be centrally concerned with risk sharing and the process by which risk allocation occurs. Substantial distrust of the institutions respon- sible for siting facilities and overseeing safety will occur. Finally, ample institutional opportunities will exist by which host area publics and officials can resist the location of a facility in the region. An Ethical Base for Siting Because hazardous waste facilities involve the imposition of uncertain and feared risks upon certain people for the general benefit of society, siting is inherently and centrally an ethical problem. Improved approaches that have potential for winning public trust must therefore build upon ethical prin- ciples. Five such principles are as follows: Principle 1: The general well-being of society requires that some indi- viduals will have to bear risks on behalf of others. Principle 2: Wherever reasonable, such risks should be avoided rather than mitigated or ameliorated through compensation. Principle 3: Reasonably unavoidable risks should be shared, not con- centrated, in the population of beneficiaries. Principle 4: The imposition of risk should be made as voluntary as reasonably achievable within the constraints of deploying sites in a timely manner, and the burden of proof for site suitability should be on the devel- oper. Principle 5: Reasonably unavoidable risks should be accompanied by compensating benefits. These principles provide a sound ethical base for siting strategies. Princi- ple 1 makes clear that, from all we know, the location of hazardous waste facilities cannot be made a voluntary activity if conducted in a socially responsible way (thereby prohibiting, for example, locational opportun- ism). It also recognizes that the benefits of associated technological products and activity (for example, chemical products and nuclear medicine) for society outweigh the risk associated with well-designed waste management programs. Principle 2, arguing from the widely accepted duty to avoid human harm, states the obligation (within technological and economic restraints) to avoid risks rather than to mitigate them (as through insurance, for example) or compensate for them once they have occurred. Principle 3 recognizes that distributional equity depends upon broad sharing of the

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140 ROGER E. KAlSPIERSON reasonably unavoidable risks among those who benefit from the technology or activity. Principle 4 addresses the ethical attributes of the process of risk imposition and, although recognizing that purely voluntary means are not possible, calls for enlarging the degree of voluntarism of risk assumption through, for example, full information (including uncertainty) to risk bear- ers, full participation in public proceedings, due process protection, and allocation of the burden of proof to the site developer. Finally, Principle 5 sets forth the obligation, once risks have been reduced as much as feasible, to compensate for the residual risks (to restore, to the degree possible, the original condition). Policy Tools A large array of policy tools exist for erecting siting strategies based upon these ethical principles. A number of the more prominent are noted below. Authority and the Systems Approach The allocation of authority needs to be consistent with the systemic scale of hazardous waste management. Since the siting of hazardous waste facili- ties is demonstrably contentious, sufficient concentration of authority must occur so that the actual deployment of sites in a timely way is possible. Widespread dispersion of authority in the face of a volatile siting process guarantees failure. But it is also essential that the level of the system be properly defined. The management of high-level radioactive waste is clearly a problem on a national scale; the management of nonhazardous solid waste clearly is not. It may well be, however, that assigning responsibility for low- level radioactive waste to the states was a strategic error. Risk Reduction and Safety Assurance The hazardous waste management system must be designed so that all elements and stages are sufficiently integrated that risk reduction can be maximized. For hazardous nonradioactive wastes this means a clear empha- sis upon strategies and incentives designed to encourage reductions in waste generation and greater use of waste recycling and conversion, as called forin a recent report by the Environmental Studies Board of the National Research Council (19851. Specifically, this should include banning land disposal or (at least) increasing the costs for land disposal sites to a level consistent with the total social costs of land disposal of wastes. For high-level radioactive wastes, this will involve a careful balancing of the optimal time of interim storage and the timing of emplacement in repositories. Such systemic coor

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PERSPECTIVES ON H~Z~RDOUS PASTE F~CIL1~ SITING 141 dination would avoid the danger of subsystem optimization (as may be occurring with the repository focus in high-level radioactive wastes). Institutional opportunities exist to enlarge the role of risk bearers in assur- ing their own protection. Local impact-assessment committees can partici- pate directly in the identification of relevant impacts, advice as to how they should be weighted, and strategies for avoiding and mitigating them. A formal local capability to monitor the facility and any potential releases linked to a means for corrective action can provide improved assurance of long-term health protection. Similarly, a direct local role in the design of the facility is a more appropriate sharing of authority than one centered on the siting decision. Postclosure trust funds can be developed to pay judgments arising from future harms caused by a facility owner or operator who is judgment-proof or otherwise not amenable to suit (Baram, 1982, p. 2151. Risk Sharing Several systems designs and institutional options exist for achieving a wider sharing of risk among the beneficiaries. First, the size and number of facilities can be altered to conform to a general plan of equity. Whereas a large, multipurpose facility for hazardous waste treatment may have econo- mies of scale, several smaller, limited-purpose facilities may provide enhanced equity opportunities. Second, facilities may be regionally sited to make visible that all benefiting areas will share in the risk. Such siting strategies may also reduce the costs and risks of the waste transportation system. Finally, the siting strategy may also be arranged so that facilities begin operations simultaneously (rather than staggered, as in the high-level radioactive waste program). Deploying the overall waste system, of course, requires centralized planning but may be designed so that the network of facilities visibly demonstrates that each area will be expected to share in the waste burdens and risks (Morel!, 19841. The Role of Compensation To conform to the definition of the problem and to the ethical principles enumerated in the previous section, compensation would function as a means of providing distributional equity. Compensation should not, however, be the preferred approach to risk management because of the higher-order responsibility to avoid harm. Rather, it should be employed after risks have been reduced as much as possible. It is also essential to recognize explicitly that compensation levels are difficult to establish at the time of facility development because effects often cannot be predicted, many effects are qualitative and difficult to mea

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142 ROGER E. KaSPERSON sure, and it is difficult to assign values to human or environmental harm. Compensation should, in the view advanced here, be assigned by central authority through standardized procedures applied equally to all cases and should provide assurance that uncertainty and unforeseen events will not go uncompensated. Risk Compensation and Public Participation The last set of policy tools relates to ethical principle 4, making the assumption of risk as voluntary as reasonably achieveable. In fact, we do not know how best to do this, and programs need to be designed as research and demonstration efforts, with a substantial commitment of funds and com- mand of expertise. It is not, as is assumed in the current multimillion-dollar "public information program" of the Atomic Industrial Forum, a public relations task. A sound approach will recognize that the developer has a conflict of interest in risk communication, so that risk and project communi- cation may need to be vested in a more independent source (for example, the League of Women Voters), and that effective communication must take account of the social dynamic of how a community considers and debates the facility. A key objective of compensation arrangements should be the crea- tion of a local technical advisory body, perhaps modeled after the successful Technical Advisory Committee to the Governor of New Mexico in the case of the siting of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in that state. The paradigm outlined in this final section does not guarantee success, of course. If success were easy, this would not be such a tough policy problem. But in the face of growing evidence that current wisdom is failing, new approaches are needed. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am indebted to Jeanne X. Kasperson and John Lundblad for comments and suggestions. I have also benefited from long-standing collaborative work on equity problems with risk with my additional colleagues, Patrick Derr, Robert Goble, Dominic Golding, Robert W. Kates, and Mary Melville. REFERENCES Bacow, L., and J. R. Milkey. 1982. Overcoming local opposition to hazardous waste facili- ties: The Massachusetts approach. Harvard Environmental Law Review 6(2):265-305. Bacow, L. S., and J. R. Milkey. 1983. Responding to local opposition to hazardous waste facilities: The Massachusetts approach. Resolve (Winter/ Spring):3-8. Baram, M. S. 1982. Alternatives to Regulation. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books.

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PERSPECTIVES ON HAZARDOUS HASTE CECILIA SITING 143 Greenberg, M. R., R. F. Anderson, and K. Rosenberger. 1984. Social and economic effects of hazardous waste management sites. Hazardous Waste l(Fall):387-396. Harris and Associates. 1976. A Second Survey of Public and Leadership Attitudes Toward Nuclear Power Development in the United States. Summary, New York: Ebasco Services. Hohenemser, C., R. W. Kates, and P. Slovic. 1983. The nature of technological hazard. Science 220(22 April):378-384. Jensen, W. B. 1984. Planning a major hazardous waste incineration facility in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Paper presented at the Second International Symposium on Operating Euro- pean Centralized Hazardous (Chemical) Waste Management Facilities, Odense, Denmark. September. Kasperson, R. E., ed. 1983. Equity Issues in Radioactive Waste Management. Cambridge, Mass.: Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain. Kasperson, R. E., and B. L. Rubin. 1983. Siting a radioactive waste respository: What role for equity? Pp. 118-136 in Equity Issues in Radioactive Waste Management, R. E. Kasperson, ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain. Kasperson, R. E., P. Derr, and R. W. Kates. 1983. Confronting equity in radioactive waste management: Modest proposals for a socially just and acceptable program. Pp. 331-368 in Equity Issues in Radioactive Waste Management, R. E. Kasperson, ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain. Kates, R. W., andB. Braine.1983. Locus, equity, end the west valley nuclear wastes. Pp.94- 117 in Equity in Radioactive Waste Management, R. E. Kasperson, ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain. Kelly, J. E. 1980. Testimony on behalf of the State of Wisconsin regarding the Statement of Position of the United States Department of Energy in the Matter of the Proposed Rulemak- ing on the Storage and Disposal of Nuclear Wastes. Docket No. PR50-51. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Washington, D.C. Kunreuther, H., J. Linnerooth, and J. W. Vaupel. 1984. A decision-process perspective on risk and policy analysis. Management Science 30(April):475-485. Lee, K. N. 1980. A federalistic strategy for nuclear waste management. Science 208(16 May):679-684. Lindell, M. K, and T. C. Earle. 1983. How close is close enough: Public perceptions of the risks of industrial facilities. Risk Analysis 3(4) :245-253. Lipsky, M.1968. Protest as a political resource. American Political Science Review 62: 1144- 1158. Morell, D. 1984. Siting and the politics ofequity. Hazardous Waste 1(4):555-571. Murdock, S. H., F. L. Leistritz, end R. R. Hamm, eds. 1983. NuclearWaste: Socioeconomic Dimensions of Long-Term Storage. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press. National Governors' Association. 1981. Siting hazardous waste facilities. The Environmental Professional 3: 133-142. National Research Council. 1984. Social and Economic Aspects of Radioactive Waste Dis- posal. Board on Radioactive Waste Management. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. National Research Council. 1985. Reducing Hazardous Waste Generation: An Evaluation and A Call for Action. Environmental Studies Board. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. O'Hare, M. 1980. Improving the use of information in environmental decision making. Environmental Impact Assessment Review l(September):229-250. O'Hare, M., L. Bacow, and D. Sanderson. 1983. Facility Siting and Public Opposition. New York: Van Nostrand. Popper, F. J.1983. LP/HC and LULUs: The political uses of risk analysis in land use planning. Risk Analysis 3(4):255-263.

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144 ROGER E. K~SPERSON Portney, K. E. 1983. Citizen attitudes toward hazardous waste facility siting: Public opinion in five Massachusetts communities. Medford, Mass.: Tufts University, Lincoln Filene Center for Citizenship Public Affairs. Mimeo. Raiffa, H.1982. The Art and Science of Negotiations. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Schwartz, S. P., P. E. White, and R. G. Hughes. 1985. Environmental threats, communities, and hysteria. Journal of Public Health Policy 6(1):58-77. Seley, J. E. 1983. The Politics of Public-Facility Planning. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books. Slovic, P., B. Fischhoff, and S. Lichtenstein. 1980. Facts and fears: Understanding perceived risk. Pp. 181-216 in Societal Risk Assessment: How Safe is Safe Enough? R. C. Schwing and W. A. Albers, eds. New York: Plenum. Slovic, P., B. Fischhoff, and S. Lichtenstein. 1982. Rating the risks: The structure of expert and lay perceptions. Pp. 141 - 166 in Risk in the Technological Society. C. Hohenemser and J. X. Kasperson, eds. AAAS Selected Symposium 65. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press. U.S. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment. 1983. Technologies and Management Strategies for Hazardous Waste Control. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. U.S. Council on Environmental Quality. 1980. Public Opinion on Environmental Issues: Results of a National Public Opinion Survey. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. von Winterfeldt, D., and W. Edwards. 1984. Patterns of conflict about risky technologies. Risk Analysis 4(1):55-68. Weinberg, A. 1977. Is nuclear energy acceptable? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 33(April):54-60. Welch, M. J. 1985. Nuclear-waste disposal reaches critical stage. Letter to the editor, New York Times, March 20.