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Citizen groups and scientific decisionmaking: Does public participation influence environmental outcomes?


  • Dorothy M. Daley

    (Department of Political Science and the Environmental Studies Program, University of Kansas)


This paper explores the influence of local community groups on agency decisionmaking at hazardous waste sites nationwide. The central purpose of this research is to examine the relative influence of two forms of public participation at Superfund sites: Community Advisory Groups (CAGs) and Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs). When citizens mobilize and become involved in the decisionmaking process via CAGs and TAGs, are outcomes systematically different when compared to hazardous waste sites where citizen groups are not active? I utilize a treatment effects regression analysis to isolate the impact of these groups on remedy selection at Superfund sites while adjusting for the non-random formation of local interest groups. The results suggest that even when controlling for other factors that may guide agency decisionmaking, such as site characteristics, the Environmental Protection Agency is more likely to choose health protective clean-up approaches when CAGs and TAGs have formed at Superfund sites. © 2007 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

Suggested Citation

  • Dorothy M. Daley, 2007. "Citizen groups and scientific decisionmaking: Does public participation influence environmental outcomes?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(2), pages 349-368.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:26:y:2007:i:2:p:349-368 DOI: 10.1002/pam.20251

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Evan J. Ringquist, 2005. "Assessing evidence of environmental inequities: A meta-analysis," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 223-247.
    2. Sigman, Hilary, 2001. "The Pace of Progress at Superfund Sites: Policy Goals and Interest Group Influence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 315-344, April.
    3. Matthew Potoski & Aseem Prakash, 2005. "Covenants with weak swords: ISO 14001 and facilities' environmental performance," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 745-769.
    4. Kohlhase, Janet E., 1991. "The impact of toxic waste sites on housing values," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-26, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Keith Naughton & Celeste Schmid & Susan Webb Yackee & Xueyong Zhan, 2009. "Understanding commenter influence during agency rule development," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 258-277.
    2. Eric C. Edwards & Oscar Cristi & Gonzalo Edwards & Gary D. Libecap, 2016. "An Illiquid Market in the Desert: Estimating the Cost of Water Trade Restrictions in Northern Chile," NBER Working Papers 21869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Edwina Barvosa, 2015. "Mapping public ambivalence in public engagement with science: implications for democratizing the governance of fracking technologies in the USA," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 5(4), pages 497-507, December.

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