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Planning for Failure: a framework evaluation of Nova Scotia’s environmental emergency management capacity in the context of tailings dam failure
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Societies have faced the challenge of understanding and responding to events that threaten life and property for eons, long before any attempts to formalize, study, and institutionalize emergency planning. This research explores the emergency management and the task of evaluating emergency planning documents in the context of environmental emergencies, specifically the hazard posed by tailings dams. This critical document analysis adapts a general emergency management framework evaluation tool designed by Hestra (2010) for this purpose and applies it to key program elements that make up Nova Scotia’s emergency management system. Discussion of the evaluation results indicate the high quality aspects/successes of Nova Scotia’s emergency management system as well as the low quality aspects/gaps, explores the limits of the Hestra framework as an evaluation tool, and the extent to which the system addresses a specific environmental emergency. This research adds a Canadian case example to the relatively new field of environmental emergency management scholarship, and also explores the link between emergency planning and sustainable community development.