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close this bookThe Long Road to Recovery: Community Responses to Industrial Disaster (UNU, 1996, 307 pages)
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View the documentNote to the reader from the UNU
View the documentIntroduction
close this folder1 Improving community responses to industrial disasters
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe nature of industrial disaster
View the documentIndustrial disaster burdens
View the documentThe evolution of responses
View the documentRoutine disasters
View the documentSurprises
View the documentCoping with surprise
View the documentReducing the impact of industrial disaster surprises: The range of choice
View the documentRecovering from surprise
View the documentConclusions
View the documentNotes
View the documentReferences
close this folder2 Responses to Minamata disease
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentWho are the victims of Minamata disease?
View the documentOfficial recognition of Minamata disease and the initial response
close this folderChisso's grip on the local community
View the documentThe making of Minamata
View the documentEnvironmental destruction before Minamata disease
close this folderNeglect in preventing the spread of disease
View the documentManoeuvres to avoid a ban on fishing
View the documentObstacles to identifying the cause of Minamata disease
View the documentEfforts to halt the dumping of contaminated wastes
close this folderProblems associated with relief and reparations
View the documentRelief
View the documentReparations
View the documentMeasures to aid the fisheries
View the documentHow the local community suppressed the victims
View the documentConclusions
View the documentEditor's postscript
View the documentChronology
View the documentNotes
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close this folder3 Environmental contamination, community transformation, and the Centralia mine fire
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentCentralia: A dependent town
View the documentThe Centralia mine fire
View the documentA stage model of industrial contamination
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View the documentImplications
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close this folder4 Seveso: A paradoxical classic disaster
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View the documentIntroduction
close this folderOverview
View the documentThe chemical release
View the documentDioxin
View the documentThe Seveso Directive
close this folderThe European Community's institutional response to Seveso
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View the documentThe Directive and its annexes
View the documentOther institutional effects of the Seveso Directive
close this folderThe lessons of Seveso
View the documentA model for managing uncertainty
View the documentModelling the Seveso disaster
View the documentModelling the Seveso Directive
View the documentModelling the Karin B incident
View the documentA moral paradox
View the documentA scientific paradox
View the documentIndustrial accidents, industrial society, and recovery
View the documentConclusion: ''Seveso'' - A paradoxical symbol
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentChronology
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close this folder5 Long-term recovery from the Bhopal crisis
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe Bhopal toxic gas leak crisis
close this folderAntecedents and failures
View the documentInside the plant
View the documentOutside the plant
View the documentA multiple-perspectives understanding of crises
close this folderRecovery of the victims and their community
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View the documentMedical recovery
View the documentEconomic recovery
View the documentStruggle for compensation
View the documentVictims remain victims
close this folderRecovery of Union Carbide
View the documentFinancial restructuring
View the documentLegal battles and the ''sabotage'' defence
close this folderRecovery of the government
View the documentPolitical management of the crisis
View the documentLearning by government institutions
close this folderImplications for long-term disaster recovery
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentCrisis morphology
View the documentThe permanence of victims
View the documentRevising stage models of disasters
View the documentPolicy implications
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close this folder6 Iranian recovery from industrial devastation during war with Iraq
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentMilitary and strategic context
close this folderImpacts of the war on human health and long-term habitability of the region
View the documentHuman losses
View the documentEnvironmental damage
View the documentDamage to human settlements and the economy
close this folderRecovery from war
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View the documentNational reconstruction plans
View the documentSupport from international organizations and local communities
View the documentUrban reconstruction
View the documentHousing reconstruction
View the documentIndustrial reconstruction
close this folderConceptual framework for a model of post-war reconstruction and industrial hazard recovery
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View the documentA reconstruction strategy
View the documentThe reconstruction process
View the documentImproving recovery and policy implications
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close this folder7 The Chernobyl disasters Its effect on Belarus and Ukraine
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View the documentIntroduction
close this folderThe accident and its immediate aftermath
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View the documentThe accident is ''under control''
View the documentFocus on the West
View the documentInternational cooperation
View the documentThe affected community
close this folderRegeneration and recovery
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View the documentVictim action groups
View the documentInternational aid
close this folderTowards a model for nuclear and industrial accidents
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View the documentStages of crisis management
View the documentThree Mile Island, 1979
View the documentThe international nuclear energy industry's response to Chernobyl
View the documentSummary
View the documentSuggestions for a general model of recovery from industrial accidents
View the documentAcknowledgement
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View the documentMedia sources
close this folder8 The Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaska
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View the documentIntroduction
close this folderThe oil industry and the spill
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View the documentThe accident
close this folderHistorical and cultural contexts
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View the documentThe Katmai eruption
View the documentThe great Alaskan earthquake
close this folderThe oil spill: Community impact
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View the documentPsychological, social, and cultural impacts
View the documentThe villages
View the documentTown responses
close this folderRecovery
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View the documentLitigation initiatives
View the documentThe communities
View the documentOrganizational responses
View the documentNew risks
View the documentOther kinds of recovery activities
View the documentBut, what is recovery?
View the documentConclusions
View the documentChronology of the first 10 days
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close this folder9 Signposts on the road to recovery
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentSurprising events and disquieting outcomes
close this folderResponding effectively to industrial disaster surprises
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View the documentAwareness
View the documentInformation
View the documentAction
View the documentRecommendations
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View the documentContributors

Town responses

The range of concerns, irritations, and benefits varied greatly among the affected towns during the summer of 1989. Polarizations, between those who worked for Exxon or its contracted service organization VECO Inc. and those who did not, set people against each other in new ways. Many looked favourably on opportunities to make large sums of money ($16.69 an hour) on clean-up activities, or to charter their boats (up to $6,000 a day), or to provide other well-paid services. Those not hired, or who spurned Exxon or VECO, scorned their neighbours who accepted the employment. If a fisherman or any local resident wanted to make money, the opportunity generally was available. If, on the other hand, a fisherman refused to work for the oil company that was perceived as being responsible for the mess, then he was doubly penalized - he lost the chance to make money from the clean-up and he also lost expected income from fishing areas that were closed because of fears about oil contamination. Disagreements among the fishermen were intense and painful. Lack of resolution, combined with a sudden decline in chum salmon during the summer of 1993, led frustrated fishermen to block tanker traffic on Valdez Arm in a desperate attempt to force a discussion with Exxon about their claims. Litigation, and decline in fish stocks, prices, and permit value, have unquestionably slowed recovery for this segment of the population.

As a community, Cordova appears to have suffered the greatest disruption for the longest time and gained the least. Before 1989 it was already a conflict-ridden town; the oil spill may just have offered a new arena for traditional hostilities and exacerbated some of the old problems. But this may also be a misreading of the evidence because more data have been gathered - and made available - on Cordova than on other towns (Picou et al. 1992; Dyer, Gill, and Picou 1992; Reynolds 1993).

Nevertheless, the sources of dispute in Cordova were many: they included the fishermen's willingness or unwillingness to help; inequities of hire by Exxon and Veco; closure of the fishing season; a sudden decline in the number and price of chum salmon, from 40 cents a pound in 1990 to 12 in 1991; decline of fish permit values; the suicide of Cordova's Mayor (Enge 1993); protracted litigation; the fishermen's boycott of oil tankers in August 1993; and the announcement, in September 1993, that 74 of the boycotting boats might face fines from the Coast Guard. Clearly, during 1993, the fishermen from Cordova had not recovered. For many, as reported by Reynolds (1993), "the 1989 oil spill was still an unfolding disaster. Spillrelated problems, fears, and conflicts were widespread." And they still are.

Conditions were different in Valdez. Here, the community was inundated by people, goods, guards, media, and traffic. The oil industry had long been a mainstay of the community and most people had benefited directly or indirectly from the presence of the Alaska pipeline terminus. As the clean-up progressed, there was a massive convergence of people and materials on Valdez. Everyone who wanted to work, could. New bed and breakfast accommodations were opened. People rented their extra bedrooms; some even rented their whole houses and left the state. But, as the population climbed from 2,500 to 10,000, the strain was too much, even for a town that claimed to be accustomed to similar fluctuations. Local residents found they had to forego eating out in restaurants, baby sitters, visiting friends, and going to baseball games. Even the traditional Gold Rush Day celebrations were cancelled in 1989. By July 1990, local people were out of patience with the oil spill and its aftermath; the town had the exhausted feeling that comes with being in a war zone (Robbing, E. 1993).

Seward, like Valdez, was accustomed to increased traffic brought by seasonal tourism, but to nothing like that experienced during the summer of 1989. Unlike some other communities, people in Seward took control of the situation before oil actually approached the area (US DOI 1993a, 1993b).

Of all the impacts on Alaskan towns the uproar in Kodiak is perhaps the most thoroughly documented (Impact Assessment Inc. 1990; US DOI 1993a, 1993b; see, especially, Endter-Wada et al. 1993). Kodiak processes the third-largest volume of fish of any port in North America, and, although little oil reached the town, extensive disruption did.

In summary, the impacts of Exxon Valdez on the communities of southern Alaska varied greatly. Towns and villages experienced different levels of threat; different volumes of oil, and different degrees of contamination; different amounts of access to money and other clean-up benefits; and differences in the quantity and quality of research that was accomplished.