The ends of uncertainty: Air quality science and planning in Central California

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Description

Air quality planning in Central California is complicated and controversial despite millions of dollars invested to improve scientific understanding. This research describes and critiques the use of photochemical air quality simulation modeling studies in planning to attain standards for ground-level ozone in the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley during the 1990's. Data are gathered through documents and interviews with planners, modelers, and policy-makers at public agencies and with representatives from the regulated and environmental communities. Interactions amongst organizations are diagramed to identify significant nodes of interaction. Dominant policy coalitions are described through narratives distinguished by their ... continued below

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430 pages

Creation Information

Fine, James September 2003.

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This thesis or dissertation is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this document can be viewed below.

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Description

Air quality planning in Central California is complicated and controversial despite millions of dollars invested to improve scientific understanding. This research describes and critiques the use of photochemical air quality simulation modeling studies in planning to attain standards for ground-level ozone in the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley during the 1990's. Data are gathered through documents and interviews with planners, modelers, and policy-makers at public agencies and with representatives from the regulated and environmental communities. Interactions amongst organizations are diagramed to identify significant nodes of interaction. Dominant policy coalitions are described through narratives distinguished by their uses of and responses to uncertainty, their exposures to risks, and their responses to the principles of conservatism, civil duty, and caution. Policy narratives are delineated using aggregated respondent statements to describe and understand advocacy coalitions. I found that models impacted the planning process significantly, but were used not purely for their scientific capabilities. Modeling results provided justification for decisions based on other constraints and political considerations. Uncertainties were utilized opportunistically by stakeholders instead of managed explicitly. Ultimately, the process supported the partisan views of those in control of the modeling. Based on these findings, as well as a review of model uncertainty analysis capabilities, I recommend modifying the planning process to allow for the development and incorporation of uncertainty information, while addressing the need for inclusive and meaningful public participation. By documenting an actual air quality planning process these findings provide insights about the potential for using new scientific information and understanding to achieve environmental goals, most notably the analysis of uncertainties in modeling applications. Concurrently, needed uncertainty information is identified and capabilities to produce it are assessed. Practices to facilitate incorporation of uncertainty information are suggested based on research findings, as well as theory from the literatures of the policy sciences, decision sciences, science and technology studies, consensus-based and communicative planning, and modeling.

Physical Description

430 pages

Notes

OSTI as DE00822267

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  • Other Information: TH: Thesis (Ph.D.); Submitted to the University of California, Berkeley, CA (US)

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  • Report No.: LBNL--54222
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 822267
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc779044

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  • September 2003

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • May 5, 2016, 2:18 p.m.

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Fine, James. The ends of uncertainty: Air quality science and planning in Central California, thesis or dissertation, September 2003; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc779044/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.