The George Washington University
Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Department (EMSE)
Environmental & Energy Management Program (E&EM)

Fall 2002 (Volume 3, Number 2)


by E&EM Faculty and Students

Dr. Sherif El-Ramly and Dr. Jonathan P. Deason are the authors to an article titled "Trade and the environment: identifying 'hot spot' sectors," published in Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy 4 (2003) 264-273.

The paper explains a prioritization methodology that was developed to assist in identifying key "hot spots" that face great adverse environmental impacts due to trade liberalization. The most important outputs that evolved from this research were economic and environmental indicators, a strategy to compile information, and a procedure for conducting the prioritization process. The methodology presented is believed to reduce time and cost in determining environmental hot spots and aid in determining the most important mitigation steps to take for reducing the adverse impacts of trade liberalization.

Click here for the full article.

Dr. George William (Jerry) Sherk presented a paper titled "Climate Change and Its Effects on Water Quality and Quantity: The Escalating Need for Conflict Management" at the IPPNW & PSR Summit for Survival, in May 2002.

In his presentation, Dr. Sherk pointed out that trans-national conflicts over shared water resources are likely to increase in the future, and that global climate change may have an important impact on this situation. He also emphasized that even though 70% of the earth's surface is covered with water, only 3% of this body of water is non-saline, and only 25% of this non-saline amount is actually available for use.

Dr. Sherk suggested that there were two main reasons behind the issue of global water shortage: an increase of demand for water and a decrease of this already scarce supply. After explaining the reasons behind these problems, Dr. Sherk indicated that an increasing demand and a decreasing supply created a potential for major conflicts, both at the national and international level. He pointed out that at the national level, chronic water shortages in different regions of the country could lead to reduced amounts downstream of over-used rivers and cause serious conflicts. At the international level, a limited number of rivers, which travel along various boundaries, are shared by many countries and existing international institutions are not capable of handling the unilateral actions taken in a country, thereby resulting in major conflicts.

Based on the above observations, Dr. Sherk concluded that there was a growing nedd for conflict management, which would involve four key components:

1. Reduction of demand.
2. Increase of supply.
3. Recognition and control of the destabilizing impacts of unilateral actions.
4. Development of new multilateral institutions.

Click here for Dr. Sherk's presentation on the topic.

Dr. Sherk received his doctoral degree from the E&EM Program. He is currently involved in various environment and law related positions: private practice of law in Alexandria, Virginia; associate professorial lecturer in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences of the George Washington University; and honorary associate at the International Water Law Research Institute of the University of Dundee in Scotland.

Deason, J.P., "Wide-ranging carnivores and development permits: constructing a multi-scale model to evaluate impacts on the Florida panther," Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, Volume 3, 2002, pp. 398-406. In this article, Dr. Deason explains a new endangered species habitat evaluation method based on spatial variables. The method is proposed for use on lands that are anticipated for development or property that could accommodate panther population and can be used by permitting agencies for providing an objective and consistent landscape approach to panther conservation throughout south Florida.

Click here for the article.

Dr. George William (Jerry) Sherk, "Reauthorization of CERCLA and the redevelopment of brownfields: who will pay the orphan's share?" Environmental Engineering and Policy, Volume 2, 2001, pp. 171-179. In the article, Dr. Sherk emphasizes the major differences arising under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). He states that currently under CERCLA, while the Superfund may be used for the remediation of orphaned national Priorities List (NPL) sites, it may not be used for the remediation of orphaned brownfield sites. This results in the cost being endured by the public. Dr. Sherk concludes that such a policy is not fundamental and presents recommendations to facilitate the remediation and redevelopment of both NPL sites and brownfield sites.

Dr. Teresa Pohlman, "Next Steps in Navigating the DOD Environmental Cleanup Program," Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, Volume 12, Issue 3, 2001, pp. 117-130. Dr. Pohlman attempted to model the process to help decision makers choose the most effective method for negotiating environmental cleanup remedies. In her article, Dr. Pohlman suggests that of the many objectives influencing the course of the DOD environmental cleanup program, the two objectives with the greatest influence are regulatory and public, due to the increase of regulation and public input to the program. This has resulted in a need for more effective and efficient negotiations with regulatory agencies while also considering public participation. Dr. Pohlman's article attempts to address this need by presenting the major pieces of legislation of the DOD environmental program, investigating issues due to this legislation and proposing options for examining new negotiating procedures. She concludes that there are still many challenges ahead, even though the DOD environmental cleanup program has advanced. Dr. Pohlman believes that these challenges can be handled by applying a model that allows a decision maker to objectively choose the negotiating technique that is most suitable to program conditions.

Dr. Pohlman earned her doctoral degree from the E&EM program, focusing on environmental cleanup negotiations. She currently works for the DOD Pentagon Renovation Office as the Special Assistant for Sustainable Design. She has extensive experience in the procedures related to Navy and Air Force base closure, environmental cleanup and compliance, pollution prevention, and natural resources.

Deason, J.P., "Water Policy in the United States: a perspective," Water Policy, Vol. 3, Issue 3, 2001, pp. 175-192. Dr. Deason describes the main supporting philosophical and legal issues behind water quantity and water quality policies that have evolved in the US federal-state system. He indicates that other areas of the world may benefit from lessons learned during the evolution of US water policy.

Click here for the article.

Daniel M. Byrd III, C. Richard Cothern (E&EM Professorial Lecturer and former Executive Secretary of the EPA Science Advisory Board), Introduction to Regulatory Risk Analysis: Environmental, Ecological, Food, Drugs and Other Insults to Life., Washington, D.C., September 1999, 375 pages, Publisher: Government Institutes, Inc. Click here for more information.

Deason, J.P., "Cry Me A River," Pollution Engineering, September 2001. Click here for more information.

Jonathan P. Deason, Ph.D., Lead Professor