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Fostering Innovation in Contaminated Sediments Management Through Multicriteria Technology Assessment and Public Participation


*Address correspondence to T. P. Seager, Sustainability Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623; tel: 585-475-6612; fax: 585-475-5250;


Management of contaminated sediments is problematic and costly. Several new technologies are under development that may in some cases reduce costs and environmental or ecological impacts. However, there are significant barriers to implementing new technologies, including the increased management complexity, the potential for introducing antagonistic or incommensurate objectives that are unfamiliar to stakeholders or regulators, and the difficulty of capturing private, commercial benefits from environmental improvements that may primarily benefit the public. This article identifies several innovative contaminated sediments technologies, discusses the difficulty of proving or quantifying the benefits of new technologies, and presents an agenda for research that would foster partnerships between scientific, government, and public communities of interest for the purpose of improving innovative technology assessment and environmental decision making.