Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Jefferson Hazardous Waste Negotiation

Vicki Arroyo and Lawrence Susskind
Eight-party, five-issue negotiation among community, environmental, business, and government interests over the formulation of a statewide hazardous waste siting policy

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SCENARIO:

In the state of Jefferson, an emergency situation has developed due to tremendous increases in the quantity of hazardous industrial waste produced each year. As of January 1 next year, the one in-state landfill must be closed. There are already signs that the water supplies in adjacent areas have been contaminated. The Commissioner of Environmental Quality has pressed the Governor to decide on a policy for hazardous waste disposal.

The Governor has appointed an eight-member “blue ribbon” committee to provide advice on the policy. In the Committee’s first meeting, factions polarized and no agreements were reached. The Committee has agreed to convene one more time in an attempt to reconcile its differences and to make a recommendation to the Governor. The five key issues under discussion are: the relative emphases on health/safety/environment v. economic development/financial interests; the administration of environmental standards; the acceptable levels of risk to human’s health and safety; the restrictions on waste production; and compensation to adversely affected neighborhoods and the right of citizen review. If the parties cannot agree, the Governor will draft guidelines, with no special “input” from the major parties involved in this controversy.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • There are numerous sources of negotiating power that are not necessarily correlated with a party’s political clout away from the bargaining table.
  • A good working relationship may be a source of leverage in a negotiation.
  • There is often a substantial gap between a negotiator’s aspirations (his or her view of the best agreement possible) and his or her BATNA. It often takes several rounds of give-and-take to estimate the gap.
  • It is possible to convince other parties to lower their aspirations by pointing out the advantage of reaching an agreement that is slightly better than their BATNA, as opposed to not reaching an agreement because of sticking to unrealistically high aspirations.

 

MECHANICS:

Estimated Time Requirements:

  • Total time of 2.5 hours
  • 30 mins: read instructions
  • 90 mins: negotiate
  • 45 mins: debrief

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • General Instructions

 

Role Specific:

Confidential Instructions for:

  • Chair of the State Environmental Coalition
  • Commissioner of Economic Development
  • Commissioner of Environmental Quality
  • Lawyer for Citizens for Responsible Government
  • Mayor of Redford
  • President of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce
  • Representative from the Jefferson Labor Coalition
  • Representative of the Hazardous Waste Generators Association

 

Teacher’s Package (52 pages total):

  • All of the above
  • Notes on logistics, further reading, debrief, BATNA issues and suggested exam questions.

 

KEYWORDS:

Environmental dispute resolution; multi-party negotiation; environmental justice; joint fact finding

 

THEMES:

Agenda control; BATNA; Caucusing; Coalitions; Consensus building; Cost-benefit analysis; Integrative bargaining; Objective criteria; Options, generating; Public opinion

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

Chemco Inc.

Humboldt: Mediating a Regional Development Dispute

Siting an Asphalt Plant in the City of Madrona

The Carson Extension [environmental justice games for the EPA]

 

Jefferson Hazardous Waste Negotiation Attributes

Time required:
2-3 hours
Number of participants:
8
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
None
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
Yes
Teaching notes available:
Yes
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.