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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Weir, Sara J.

Second Advisor

Salazar, Debra J.

Third Advisor

Melious, Jean O.


In the rural area of Whatcom County, Washington there is a naturally occurring asbestos site on the west side of Sumas Mountain. The asbestos laden-soil became airborne after a landslide occurred on the mountain causing asbestos-laden sediment to become loose and every year, one-hundred thousand cubic yards flows into the nearby Swift Creek. There are many stakeholders who are involved in developing mitigation policies. These include agency officials and elected representatives from a variety of levels of government and private property owners. This case study expands on the relationship between "less pressing" environmental issues and the types conditions that must be in place in order for solutions to be created by regulatory bodies. The case of Swift Creek is an example of a relatively rare environmental event that has huge potential for causing serious contamination for many people. Though this case is unique, these types of definitional debates are not.




Asbestos--Swift Creek (Whatcom County, Wash.), Asbestos--Government policy--Washington (State)--Whatcom County--Case studies, Asbestos--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Whatcom County--Case studies


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Geographic Coverage

Swift Creek (Whatcom County, Wash.); Whatcom County (Wash.)


masters theses




Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.