Date of Award

5-1-2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Environmental Resources & Policy

First Advisor

Duram, Leslie

Abstract

The objective of this study was to explore which community characteristics of northeast Carbondale residents' predicts the greatest resistance to the proposed solar panel installation project on the former Koppers wood- treating-site, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated brownfield site. Additionally, the data was used to examine if impediments to civic engagement, under Carbondale's current public participation strategy exist. Utilizing a mixed methods approach, a 21- question survey was developed and distributed, via door-to-door visits, to investigate residents' characteristics, civic involvement, and perceptions of their local government. A binary logistic regression (BLR) and Chi-Square test, via IBM SPSS 24TM statistics software, analyzed probable associations of multiple independent variables on resident’s attitudes towards the proposed solar panel array project. Written responses were analyzed using NVivo 11TM qualitative software to support quantitative findings. The findings suggest that there is a significant relationship between residents’ opposition to the proposed solar panel project and their proximity to the former Koppers wood-treating site. However, a further investigation into residents’ length of residency (L.o.R.) in northeast Carbondale, civic involvement, trust in the local government, and their knowledge of the former Koppers wood-treating site (K.o.K.), correcting for numerous constraints, is highly suggested.

Available for download on Friday, February 02, 2018

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