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Keywords:

  • [risk;
  • evidence;
  • place;
  • epistemology;
  • waste;
  • science and technology]

ABSTRACT

I offer a counterpoint to the prevailing risk literature that focuses not on (mis)perceptions of danger but on the production and circulation of different forms of evidence and the environmental claims they promote. Rather than reproduce the epistemic dichotomies associated with risk discourse, I discuss attempts by waste-industry technicians, government inspectors, lawyers, area residents, and activists to generate persuasive accounts of a large, U.S. landfill and its porous boundaries. I argue that the differential influence of their various claims is best understood by examining what it means to know and care for a place.