Using Stakeholder Input to Develop a Comparative Risk Assessment for Wildlife from the Life Cycles of Six Electrical Generation Fuels

  • Edward J. ZilliouxEmail author
  • James R. Newman
  • Gregory G. Lampman
  • Mark R. Watson
  • Christian M. Newman


An assessment was conducted of the known and documented effects of electricity generation on vertebrate wildlife in the New York/New England (NY/NE) region. A Comparative Ecological Risk Assessment incorporating Life Cycle Assessment (CERALCA) was constructed to make objective comparisons among the six types of electricity generation important to the NY/NE region: coal, oil, natural gas, hydro, nuclear, and wind. Nonrenewable electricity generation sources, such as coal and oil, pose higher risks to wildlife than renewable electricity generation sources, such as hydro and wind. Based on the comparative amounts of SO2, NOx, CO2, and mercury emissions generated from coal, oil, natural gas, and hydro and the associated effects of acidic deposition, climate change, and mercury bioaccumulation, coal as an electricity generation source is by far the largest contributor to risks to wildlife found in the NY/NE region. The focus of this chapter is primarily on the role of stakeholders and how interactions between the authors and these stakeholders influenced and improved the final product. Thus, while the scientific aspects of the study have been much condensed to provide a full accounting of the stakeholder process, we hope that sufficient coverage of the technical aspects has been provided for the reader to fully appreciate the derivation of our conclusions. For those who would like additional information on the original study, we refer them to the March 2009 report available on line at


Wind Turbine Life Cycle Stage High Potential Risk Mercury Bioaccumulation Natural Resource Defense Council 
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We are indebted to many for the ideas, guidance and plain hard work that brought this project to completion. Without the support and vision of the NYSERDA staff, there would have been no project; without the stakeholders mentioned throughout the chapter there would have been no purpose for the project. Our colleagues, Peter Colverson, Christine Denny, Karen Hill and Susan Marynowski of Pandion Systems, Inc., and William Warren-Hicks of EcoStat, Inc. deserve our lasting gratitude for their insight, direction, and attention to detail throughout the project. A special thanks also goes to the editors of the original report: Diane Welch of NYSERDA, Jayne Charles, Deian Moore, and Timothy Sullivan of E&S Environmental Chemistry, Inc., and Zywia Wojnar of Pace Energy and Climate Center, Pace Law School.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward J. Zillioux
    • 1
    Email author
  • James R. Newman
    • 2
  • Gregory G. Lampman
    • 3
  • Mark R. Watson
    • 3
  • Christian M. Newman
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Bioindicators Foundation, Inc., Zillioux Environmental, LLC, School of Public Health and Health SciencesUniversity of Massachusetts, AmherstFort PierceUSA
  2. 2.Environmental Bioindicators Foundation, Inc. and Normandeau Associates, Inc. (Formerly Pandion Systems, inc.)GainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.New York State Energy Research and Development AuthorityAlbanyUSA

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