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Title: Multiattribute utility analysis as a framework for public participation in siting a hazardous waste management facility

Abstract

In an attempt to facilitate the resolution of contentious environmental problems public and private organizations are experimenting with collaborative approaches wherein stakeholders participate in the decision-making process. A dilemma for the design of collaborative approaches is the technical complexity of many environmental problems. How can members of the public play a meaningful role in decisions that involve complicated scientific arguments? This paper describes a public participation exercise in which stakeholders used an approach based on multiattribute utility analysis to select a site for a hazardous waste management facility. The key to success was the ability to separate and address two types of judgments inherent in environmental decisions-technical judgments regarding the likely consequences of alternative choices and value judgments regarding the importance or seriousness of those consequences. The approach enabled technical specialists to communicate the essential technical considerations and allowed stakeholders to establish the value judgments for the decision. Although rarely used in public participation, the multiattribute utility approach appears to provide a useful framework for the collaborative resolution of complex environmental decision problems.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Applied Decision Analysis, Inc., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  2. Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  3. Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Laboratory
OSTI Identifier:
576839
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Management
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: PBD: Nov-Dec 1997
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING AND POLICY; DECISION MAKING; WASTE MANAGEMENT; PUBLIC OPINION; HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Citation Formats

Merkhofer, M.W., Conway, R., and Anderson, R.G. Multiattribute utility analysis as a framework for public participation in siting a hazardous waste management facility. United States: N. p., 1997. Web. doi:10.1007/s002679900070.
Merkhofer, M.W., Conway, R., & Anderson, R.G. Multiattribute utility analysis as a framework for public participation in siting a hazardous waste management facility. United States. doi:10.1007/s002679900070.
Merkhofer, M.W., Conway, R., and Anderson, R.G. Sat . "Multiattribute utility analysis as a framework for public participation in siting a hazardous waste management facility". United States. doi:10.1007/s002679900070.
@article{osti_576839,
title = {Multiattribute utility analysis as a framework for public participation in siting a hazardous waste management facility},
author = {Merkhofer, M.W. and Conway, R. and Anderson, R.G.},
abstractNote = {In an attempt to facilitate the resolution of contentious environmental problems public and private organizations are experimenting with collaborative approaches wherein stakeholders participate in the decision-making process. A dilemma for the design of collaborative approaches is the technical complexity of many environmental problems. How can members of the public play a meaningful role in decisions that involve complicated scientific arguments? This paper describes a public participation exercise in which stakeholders used an approach based on multiattribute utility analysis to select a site for a hazardous waste management facility. The key to success was the ability to separate and address two types of judgments inherent in environmental decisions-technical judgments regarding the likely consequences of alternative choices and value judgments regarding the importance or seriousness of those consequences. The approach enabled technical specialists to communicate the essential technical considerations and allowed stakeholders to establish the value judgments for the decision. Although rarely used in public participation, the multiattribute utility approach appears to provide a useful framework for the collaborative resolution of complex environmental decision problems.},
doi = {10.1007/s002679900070},
journal = {Environmental Management},
number = 6,
volume = 21,
place = {United States},
year = {1997},
month = {11}
}