Community Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Beaumont Incinerator Exercise

Mona Haywood and Lawrence Susskind
Six-party task force negotiation regarding the application of environmental policy to the operation of an incinerator in a racially diverse community

What to Buy?

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Free review copies of non-English Teacher’s Packages will be emailed upon request. Please contact tnrc@law.harvard.edu  or telephone 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.)

SCENARIO:

The operation of an incinerator near a racially diverse community in a small, financially depressed town is the focus of debate in this exercise. As members of a “task force,” participants must formulate an action plan to address charges of unfairness in the implementation of environmental policy. The exercise asks what are “valid” grounds for claims of environmental justice, who has a right to make such charges, and to what degrees remedies should acknowledge issues of race and class.

 

MECHANICS:

This is multi-party negotiation that has the potential for coalitions. The preparation time necessary is 30 minutes. The minimum negotiation time is 1 hour and debriefing can be completed in 1 hour too. The threat of legal action and community outrage is motivation for process in the negotiation.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • General Instructions
  • Portia Tribune Article

 

Role Specific:

  • Confidential Information for Franz
  • Confidential Information for Soren
  • Confidential Information for Hamilton
  • Confidential Information for Thompson
  • Confidential Information for Briggs
  • Confidential Information for Price

 

Teacher’s Package (49 pages total)

  • All of the above
  • Teaching Note

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • Environmental racism has been defined as racial and/or class discrimination in environmental policy making and in the enforcement of regulations and laws, the deliberate targeting of poor communities or communities of color, or the official sanctioning of the presence of poisons and pollutants in life-threatening levels within those communities.
  • A process of consensus building can be structured so that environmental justice is achieved. The requirements of such a process go beyond what democracy typically provides (i.e. one cannot depend upon the electoral or voting process to ensure adequate input of consensus).
  • Compensation may be part of a response to charges of environmental racism, but public participation is necessary to forestall any future problems.

 

NOTE: Now available is the Environmental Justice Package, which is comprised of the Teacher’s Packages of this exercise and the simulation “Siting an Asphalt Plant in the City of Madrona”, and includes the article Risk and Justice, by Patrick Field, Lawrence Susskind, and Howard Raiffa.

 

Beaumont Incinerator Exercise Attributes

Time required:
2-3 hours
Number of participants:
6
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
Non-lawyer
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
Yes
Non-English version available:
Spanish
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You are then permitted to view the document on your computer and either print the number of copies you purchased, or forward the electronic file as many times as the number of copies you purchased. You will only receive a link to one electronic file per document. So, if you order 25 soft copies, you may either forward copies of the link to 25 people via e-mail, or print (and/or photocopy) 25 hard copies of the document.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

The purchase price and handling fee are the same for both soft and hard copies. Soft copies do not entail a shipping fee.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, then you should order a single Teacher’s Package for that role simulation. A PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package is also available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. There is no need to order participant materials as well as a Teacher’s Package, as all Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters. Please note that the materials in Teacher’s Packages are for the instructor’s review and reference only, and may not be duplicated for use with participants.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

If you wish to order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Participant Copies.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required; the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Participant Copies.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.