The political ecology of sewage sludge: The collision of science, politics, and human values
Environmental debates are often accompanied by calls for the increased use of "sound science", yet science pertaining to environmental issues is especially subject to influence from social, political, and economic actors. This thesis seeks to evaluate the role of science in environmental decision making by examining the practice of land-application of sewage sludge of biosolids. The United States Environmental Protection Agency's 2003 decision not to regulate dioxins, furans, and dioxin-like PCBs in sewage sludge will serve as a case study of how science is integrated into the policy world through risk assessment. A multidisciplinary analysis indicates that while the beneficial reuse of human waste is essential to sustainability, the application of biosolids on farmland as currently practiced is not environmentally or politically sustainable.
0617: Public administration