Environmental Health Science

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This research demonstrates how and why joint fact-finding works to break impasses in negotiations and overcome obstacles to the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. Superfund cleanup negotiations often involve multiple-party, multi-issue disputes. Disputes often arise over identification of the responsible parties, allocation of cost and liability, definition and interpretation of cleanup standards, and development of a viable settlement structure. In 1988, Marks and Susskind identified disagreements over the accuracy and validity of data as critical barriers to cleanup of Superfund and other hazardous waste sites. Disputes over data have led to delays, costly supplemental studies, and site fragmentation into multiple units (Konkel, 1989). I evaluated an on-going dispute over cleanup of a contaminated aquifer and municipal wells at the Woburn Wells G and H Superfund site to identify disputed issues affecting timely cleanup.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology