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Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in Pittsfield, Massachusetts : an investigation of public participation

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dc.contributor.advisor Nicholas A. Ashford. en_US Jastremski, Wendy M. (Wendy Marie), 1973- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us-ma en_US 2011-12-09T21:21:31Z 2011-12-09T21:21:31Z 2001 en_US 2001 en_US
dc.description Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning; and, (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Technology and Policy Program, 2001. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 97-100). en_US
dc.description.abstract This thesis investigates the public participation in agreements reached between various government agencies and the polluter, General Electric, regarding extensive PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) contamination in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. In this case, government acted as a trustee on behalf of the public's interests in the negotiations. All individuals involved in the negotiation signed contracts of confidentiality, preventing the government agents from sharing details of the negotiation with the public. This stipulation jeopardized the trust between the community and the government agencies and set very real limits on the potential for meaningful public participation. The purposes of this investigation were to: (1) examine these limits resulting from the decision to negotiate with General Electric, (2) make comparisons between the negotiation process and the process followed for sites on the National Priorities List, (3) identify services that the government agencies failed to provide to the community, (4) assess the value added by the public participation mechanisms provided to the public, (5) use the Ashford/Rest model to make suggestions for enhanced public participation in similar cases, and (6) evaluate the application of the Ashford/Rest model to this case. A site summary provides an overview of the case, including the progression of PCB contamination in Pittsfield, the resulting investigation, and the identification of stakeholders and key negotiators. Chapter Two explains the evolution and involvement of the community groups, government agencies, and other stakeholders in more detail, including the choice whether or not to list the site on the National Priorities List. A literature review summarizes some modern theories on community participation, defines effective involvement, and examines various participation opportunities. Professor Nicholas Ashford and Dr. Kathleen Rest have developed a model for ideal community involvement from the study of several Superfund sites. Only sites where the public participation was considered to have been "successful" were included in the Ashford/Rest case studies. In Chapter Four, the Ashford/Rest model is used to evaluate the effectiveness of the community involvement in Pittsfield. The thesis conclusion offers some final insights into the case and comments on the adequacy of the Ashford/Rest model in evaluating the public participation in Pittsfield. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Wendy M. Jastremski. en_US
dc.format.extent 119 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.title Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in Pittsfield, Massachusetts : an investigation of public participation en_US
dc.title.alternative Polychlorinated biphenyl contamination in Pittsfield, Massachusetts en_US
dc.title.alternative PCB contamination in Pittsfield, Massachusetts en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US S.M. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 49752397 en_US

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