Superfund Implementation and Environmental Progress

EPA Grant Number: U915310
Title: Superfund Implementation and Environmental Progress
Investigators: Daley, Dorothy
Institution: University of California - Davis
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 1999 through January 1, 2002
Project Amount: $67,427
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Urban Planning , Environmental Justice , Academic Fellowships


The objective of this research project is to understand the factors that are associated with successful Superfund implementation. In other words, why are some Superfund sites more likely to achieve permanent clean-up status than other sites? Two different theoretical approaches will be used to model Superfund implementation: (1) a traditional large sample comparative analysis; and (2) an Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) Analysis.


This research will occur in three phases. The first phase will involve in-person, semistructured interviews with approximately 50-75 people involved in Superfund implementation. These interviews will provide context and background information on Superfund. They also will be used to check the suitability of the variables that will be used in the comparative and ACF analyses. During the second phase, I will create a statistical model, based on secondary data, that will test empirically the relative influence of socioeconomic and ecological factors affecting remediation at 1,200 Superfund sites. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's indicator of environmental progress for Superfund, "Achieving Permanent Clean Up," will be used as the dependent variable for this model. I will use multivariate regression analysis to test this model. Specifically, probit analysis is appropriate because the dependent variable is categorical.

During the final phase of this research, I will create and test empirically an ACF model of Superfund implementation. Essentially, the ACF model is an extension of the socioeconomic/ecological model. The ACF model will include many of the same independent variables, but it also will test the influence of advocacy coalitions on policy implementation. The ACF model will rely on the same dependent variable, "Achieving Permanent Clean Up." I will examine approximately 100 randomly selected Superfund sites. Once these sites have been selected, I will develop and conduct a mail survey. In total, a minimum of 500 policy participants will be surveyed to test the ACF model of implementation. Survey information will be aggregated to represent Superfund site-level data. Multivariate regression analysis will be used to test the ACF model. Finally, the two models will be compared quantitatively based on their coefficient of determination, or R2. This comparison will indicate which model can explain more variation in Superfund implementation.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, Superfund, hazardous waste, implementation analysis, policy analysis, multivariate regression analysis, Advocacy Coalition Framework, ACF., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Remediation, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Economics, Hazardous Waste, decision-making, Hazardous, Environmental Law, Social Science, Economics & Decision Making, Exp. Research/future, Futures, policy analysis, statistical approaches, Superfund sites, advocacy coalition framework, modeling, socioeconomics, Superfund, statistical modeling, models, socio-economic-ecological models

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999
  • 2000
  • Final