Processes in pollution management: an Australian model

Robert Staib*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper describes a model of the social and institutional processes involved in the solution of major pollution problems from the time they are first identified until they are resolved. The model is empirically demonstrated using four case studies of water and air pollution problems from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Each process of the model is quantified by the use of an indicator, e.g., number of articles in newspapers to measure the process 'public concern,' number of pages of text devoted to parliamentary debates to measure the process 'political action.' The case study data are presented on a time-line graph that shows the duration and magnitude of each process. The paper illustrates three aspects of the solution of major pollution problems: the long time frames involved, the importance of public opinion in initiating the solution process, and the partial nature of solutions - problems may be politically resolved but often a complete solution is not achieved. An understanding of social and institutional processes and time frames will enable planners and policy makers to communicate to the public and politicians the consequences of delay in acting to solve pollution and to direct attention to critical areas to expedite solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-406
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1998


  • Air pollution
  • Management process model
  • Performance indicators
  • Pollution problems
  • Water pollution


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