Between 1974 and 1984, mediation was used in an attempt to resolve more than 160 environmental disputes. Analysis of the experience indicates that the disputes concerned land use, natural resource management and use of public land, water resources, energy, air quality, and toxic chemical issues. Agreements were reached in 78 percent of the 133 cases where that was the parties' objective. Several factors affecting the likelihood of success are examined in this article.
The authors also discuss the evolution of the application of mediation to environmental controversies and the special challenges that have faced third-party neutrals in establishing environmental dispute resolution as a profession.