5 Colum. J. Envtl. L. 156 (1978-1979)
Decision Analysis in Environmental Decisionmaking: Improving the Concorde Balance

handle is hein.journals/cjel5 and id is 162 raw text is: Decision Analysis in Environmental
Decisionmaking: Improving the
Concorde Balance
I. INTRODUCTION
Existing knowledge about the environment is technical1 and in-
complete,2 posing major problems for generalist decisionmakers
who lack the technical expertise to handle the uncertainties of the
environmental issues confronting them. Forced to rely on technical
experts for the development of data and analysis, generalist de-
cisionmakers may make judgments based on inaccurate and incom-
plete information.3
Several approaches to alleviate this handicap might be suggested.
One approach would be to provide decisionmakers with complete
information about the environment, a task not yet feasible. Another
1. See Ohio v. Wyandotte Chemicals Corp., 401 U.S. 493 (1971); International
Harvester Co. v. Ruckelshaus, 478 F.2d 615 (D.C. Cir. 1973); City of Romulus v.
County of Wayne, 392 F. Supp. 578 (E.D. Mich. 1975); Sierra Club v. Froehlke, 359
F. Supp. 1289 (S.D. Tex. 1973), modified sub nom. Sierra Club v. Callaway, 499 F.2d
982 (5th Cir. 1974); B. ACKERMAN et al., THE UNCERTAIN SEARCH FOR ENVIRON-
MENTAL QUALITY 9-66 (1974) [hereinafter cited as UNCERTAIN SEARCH].
2. See Reserve Mining Co. v. United States, 498 F.2d 1073 (8th Cir. 1974); UN-
CERTAIN SEARCH, supra note 1, at 9-66; Gelpe & Tarlocke, The Uses of Scientific
Information in Environmental Decisionmaking, 48 So. CALIF. L. REV. 570, 588-589
(1972).
3. Decisionmakers include agency and department heads, judges and members
of Congress. The difficulties these individuals experience in making judgments
about technical matters have been well documented. See Ohio v. Wyandotte Chemi-
cals Corp., 401 U.S. 493 (1971); International Harvester Co. v. Ruckelshaus, 478 F.2d
615, 650 (D.C. Cir. 1973); CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE, 92D CONG., 1ST
SESS., TECHNICAL INFORMATION FOR CONGRESS, REPORT TO THE SUBCOMM. ON
SCIENCE, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE HOUSE COMM. ON SCIENCE AND
ASTRONAUTICS 5-13 (1971); Leventhal, Environmental Decisionmaking and the
Role of the Courts, 122 U. PA. L. REV. 509 (1974); Wright, Court of Appeals Review
of Federal Regulatory Agency Rulemaking, 26 AD. L. REV. 199 (1974).
156

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