Elissa Tonkin, an experienced Environmental Mediator, is the Director of the New England Regional ADR Program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Boston. Ms. Tonkin received a B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from the University Of Michigan School Of Law. The views expressed in this chapter are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the EPA.
I. Introduction In many ways, a dispute is a dispute whether it is with your mother, a tow truck driver, or the federal government. In other ways, however, particularly in the context of environmental enforcement, disagreeing with the government is different from disagreeing with a business or an individual. Accordingly, mediated negotiations of disputes involving an environmental enforcement agency are distinct from mediated negotiations of environmental disputes solely among private parties. This chapter describes a few of the key differences and the impact that they can have on the participants in the mediation. Understanding the dynamics of mediating with regulatory agencies helps the parties with the process.