EiJ Case Study Framework: Question 5

What have different stakeholder groups done (or not done) in response to environmental problems in this setting?

What is a stakeholder?

Stakeholders are individuals, groups or organizations that have a stake in a problem or project. They are affected by the problem (positively or negatively) or have an interest in the outcomes of interventions in the problem. There are both local and non-local stakeholders. Residents, plant workers, schools, hospitals, local businesses, companies, first responders, and government agencies are stakeholders in environmental problems in many places, for example. The International Atomic Energy Administration -- though headquartered in Vienna, Austria -- is a stakeholder in problems associated with nuclear power plants in many settings around the world (as in Fukushima). 

Lists of stakeholders should be as detailed as possible. Instead of listing “community members” as a stakeholder, for example, think about diving even deeper -- treating local officials, health professionals, parent-teacher associations, etc. as different stakeholder groups. This passage from an article about alternatives to hydrofluoric acid use in refinery operations provides just part of the list of stakeholders for Torrance, California.

Their [activists] efforts have encouraged the local Air Quality Monitoring District to investigate the refinery’s safety claims and to nudge the EPA to review its risk management plans. The federal Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has also subpoenaed former Torrance owner ExxonMobil for additional information regarding MHF, and U.S. Representatives Maxine Waters and Ted Lieu, whose districts contain portions of Torrance, have both pressed for a federal probe into the 2015 explosion and the refinery’s safety claims — partly based on evidence uncovered by the citizen sleuths.

Stakeholder Actions and Inactions

This question asks stakeholders to describe what stakeholders in a community have done -- and not done -- to reduce environmental risks and vulnerabilities. Try to find action -- or inaction -- information for all the stakeholder identified in question 4. Has the mayor’s office or labor unions advocated for particular changes, for example?  Have residents formed environmental organizations, for example, or filed a lawsuit to prevent the expansion of a high risk industrial facility?  Have companies made changes in their production processes to reduce risk, or launched greenwashing campaigns that shift people’s attention away from the problems?