Framing Environmental Issues

Frank Dukes

Director, Institute for Environmental Negotiation, University of Virginia

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

Not all issues are framed that way, framed in terms of environmental concerns, or where you would have environmental advocates substantially involved. In the superfund work, for instance, we're just finishing and are now distributing the final report for a superfund sight. There's a sight that has environmental problems, contamination from chemicals affecting the ground water, and yet people don't see it as primarily an environmental issue. They see it as a concern for my community, for my property values, for my health, and to a lesser extent, yes, there's going to be some impact on some of the resources, the creeks, where the ground water has actually discharged into, and runoff too, where the water has discharged into the creeks.

People aren't so concerned about that because they think that's being cleaned up, that it's being addressed. Things aren't necessarily framed as, "Here's an environmental issue, and we have an environmental perspective, we have a business perspective, and there's a public interest perspective," its often not framed that way.