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Title: Exploring public participation in the context of tackling mine water pollution
Author: Palmer, Lindsay
ISNI:       0000 0001 3465 879X
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2007
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This research aims to explore the scope ofpublic participation in the process of tackling local environmental issues involving mine water pollution. Mine water pollution, as a constituent ofour post-industrial heritage, presents a specific type of environmental issue with impacts most acutely perceived at a local level. The scale of historic coal mining activities in northeast England (and legal exemptions for owners of mine workings abandoned prior to 1999) has left a legacy ofmine water pollution in the region, impacting on those already suffering the social and-economic consequences resulting from the demise of the national coal mining industry in the 19801990' s. The inability oftraditional authority structures to effectively deal with mine water pollution within the UK has, in cases, led to consideration of public involvement in a participatory approach to tackle the problems.,Jfhe case at Quaking Houses suggests that public participation offers the potential for engaging local communities in these environmental issues and introducing science to serve community needs. This research examines the role that the public can play, looking at how people can engage and become involved in decisions relating to their environmental heritage, and specifically the contribution public participation makes in the process of tackling mine water pollution. This study explores three case studies from an interdisciplinary perspective assessing the socio-political and technical dynamics .associated with public participation in the arena of mine water remediation. I offer a detailed account of public participation and partnership processes within the specific case studies and explore the issues arising in the context of tackling mine water pollution. I use the cases to illustrate some ofthe difficulties encountered whilst taking an interdisciplinary approach -combining scientific intervention with non-technical participants, and try to show the dynamics and patterns of distrust and misunderstanding and their impacts on the 8ecision making process. I argue that these case studies highlight the 'classic' features ofproblematic participation initiatives in environmental decision making, including problems ofcommunication, lack oftrust and a conflict between technocratic and democratic approaches. I conclude by reflecting on the role of participation and trust within the context ofaddressing mine water pollution and in environmental issues more generally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available