Assessing environmental attitutes and concerns about a contaminated site in a densely populated suburban environment

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Considerable attention has been devoted to the concerns and perceptions of people residing around contaminated facilities, both brownfields in urban areas and others located in remote and lightly populated areas. This paper examines the concerns of recreationists and sportsmen residing near the Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, in central Long Island, one of the most densely populated regions in the United States, where tourism is of prime importance. On an open-ended question, the greatest concern was pollution, followed by environmental health as a global concern, and human health as a concern for Brookhaven. Accidents/spills, loss of public health, and loss of ecological health were rated highest among a list of concerns, and change in property values was rated lowest. When asked to rank seven concerns, protecting human health was ranked the highest, and economic interests were ranked the lowest. For future land use at Brookhaven, recreational uses were rated the highest, while building houses and factories, and storage of nuclear material were rated the lowest. These data can be used by managers, decision and policy makers, and the general public to assess and manage local and regional environmental concerns and to consider future land uses for decommissioned lands, such as those at Brookhaven.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-165
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental monitoring and assessment
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jan 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


  • Brookhaven
  • Department of Energy
  • Economic interests
  • Environmental perceptions
  • Future land use
  • Global environmental concerns
  • Recreation


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