Factors influencing residents’ acceptance (support) of remediation technologies

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Science of the Total Environment, 2018, 624 pp. 1369 - 1386
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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. An increasing diversity of technologies are being used to remediate contaminated sites, yet there remains little understanding of the level of acceptance that residents living near these sites hold for these technologies, and what factors influence their level of acceptance. This lack of understanding hinders the remediation industry's ability to effectively engage with these residents about remediation technology selection, at a time when such engagement is become part and parcel of remediation policy and practice. The study develops on wider research into public acceptance of technologies, using data from a telephone survey of 2009 residents living near thirteen contaminated sites across Australia. Within the survey acceptance is measured through residents’ level of support for the application of remediation technologies in their local area. Firstly, a regression analysis of closed-ended questions, and coding of open-ended questions are combined to identify the main predictors of residents’ support for remediation technologies. Secondly, coding of open-ended questions was analysed using Crawford and Ostrom's Institutional Grammar Tool to identify norms and sanctions guiding residents’ willingness to negotiate their support. The research identifies factors associated with the residents’ personal and demographic characteristics, their physical context and engagement with institution during remediation processes, and the technologies themselves which predict residents’ level of support for the application of remediation technologies. Bioremediation technologies had higher levels of support than chemical, thermal and physical technologies. Furthermore, the paper identifies a core set of norms and sanctions residents use to negotiate their level of support for remediation technologies.
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