Engineering & Transportation

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Cleaning Up the Mess: Implementation Strategies in Superfund [Hardcover]

Thomas W. Church , Robert T. Nakamura
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)


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Book Description

February 1, 1993 0815714149 978-0815714149 First Printing

The federal Superfund program for cleaning up America's inactive toxic waste sites is noteworthy not only for its enormous cost - $15.2 billion has been authorized thus far - but also for its unique design. The legislation that created Superfund provided the Environmental Protection Agency with a diverse set of policy tools. Preeminent among them is a civil liability scheme that imposes responsibility for multimillion dollar cleanups on businesses and government units linked - even tangentially - to hazardous waste sites. Armed with this potent policy implement, the agency can order the parties who are legally responsible for the toxic substances at a site to clean it up, with large fines and damages for failure to comply. EPA can also offer conciliatory measures to bring about voluntary, privately financed cleanup; or it can launch a cleanup initially paid for by Superfund and later force the responsible parties to reimburse the government.

In this book, Thomas W. Church and Robert T. Nakamura provide the first in-depth study of Superfund operations at hazardous waste sites. They examine six Superfund cleanups, including three regions and both 'hard' and 'easy' sites, to ask 'what works?' Based on detailed case studies, the book describes various strategies that have been applied by government regulators and lawyers and the responses to those different strategies by businesses and local government officials.

The authors characterize the implementation strategies used by the EPA as prosecution, accommodation, and public works. They point out that the choice of strategy involves setting priorities among Superfund's competing objectives. They conclude that the best implementation strategy is one that considers the context of each site and the particular priorities in each case. Looking toward the reauthorization of Superfund, they also offer recommendations for improvements in the organization of the program and discuss proposals for change in its liability scheme.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas W. Church is a professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy of the State University of New York at Albany. He has published published extensively on environmental policy, court reform, and the nexus of law and policy. Robert T. Nakamura is a professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy of the State University of New York at Albany. His research has focused on environmental policy and policy implementation.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press; First Printing edition (February 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815714149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815714149
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,044,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little dated now, but still interesting January 1, 2006
Format:Hardcover
I found this book to be very interesting despite the fact that it was written over 10 years ago. The discussion of the politics/strategies employed by the individual EPA regions was particularly fascinating. It covers some facets of Superfund work that you may have discussed with coworkers but rarely find mentioned in books. I think this book will be most useful to those already working in the environmental field, as it may be hard to follow for those new to Superfund. I felt I had to review this book as the only other review was by someone who didn't appreciate it.
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1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars SUperfund is superboring May 15, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book was excessively boring and tedious with implementation strategies.I should know bc one of the authors is my teacher and he is the exact same way.do not read this book
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