Ohio-Kentucky Drinking Water/Wastewater Mediation
Mediation of dispute over wastewater discharge from Kentucky into Ohio River upstream of City of Cincinnati drinking-water intakes.
Stormwater National Policy Workshop on Volunteer Monitoring
This two-day workshop brought together national stormwater management experts and state-based policymakers, under the sponsorship of the US EPA, the Ocean Conservancy, state and local agencies and non-profits. The workshop goal was to develop information and principles to be used in the development of a model guidance document for volunteer monitoring procedures, with the potential to serve as the foundation for national volunteer water-quality monitoring efforts. Services provided included process design, oversight of issues assessment and participant recruitment, and facilitation of the two-day workshop.
Hudson River PCB Superfund Cleanup - Community Advisory Group
Member of facilitation team for public involvement in the $400 million dredging cleanup of the Hudson River. This long-planned and awaited project has a strong public participation component that involves multiple communities, businesses, advocacy organizations, local, state and federal agencies, and others in a Community Advisory Group (CAG). Project is under the auspices of the US EPA. Outcomes include clarification of key issues, joint fact-finding, and enhanced communication amongst the diverse interests involved in or affected by the clean-up.
National Water Resources Technology Workshop
Facilitation team member for national workshop of diverse stakeholders on research, regulatory barriers, public outreach and education, and strategy regarding distributed and non-structural water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure solutions.
Interlocal Stormwater Working Group
Facilitation of the ongoing activities of the working group, which has developed and is implementing a collaborative, cross-border approach to stormwater management. Members represent thirteen municipalities in the Portland (Maine) metropolitan area, state environmental, planning and transportation agencies, regional planning organizations, conservation and environmental groups, and technical consultants. A particular focus is on joint implementation of the Clean Water Act Stormwater Phase II requirements. Outcomes to date include a negotiated rule-making with Maine DEP, the development of a joint intermunicipal 5-year stormwater management plan, the development of model municipal ordinances, the creation of a statewide educational media campaign in partnership with DEP, and regional implementation of stormwater management measures. The group has been recognized with a 2006 EPA Environmental Merit Award, Greater Portland COG Regionalization award, and was the cover story of the January, 2006 edition of Stormwater Magazine.
Community Watershed Forums
Community visioning and planning forums have been conducted in a number of watersheds throughout Maine. In each case, a steering committee (made up of representatives of local residents, watershed protection groups, and state and local agencies) was guided through the planning and development of an open public forum. In addition to serving as the lead facilitator for the forums, training was provided to staff from Maine DEP and local agencies in facilitation methods for conducting the forum’s breakout sessions. The forums have been attended by local residents, businesspeople, municipal staff, elected officials, and state and local agency staff. Outcomes have included involvement of participants in subsequent working groups, the development of locally-based watershed management plans, and increased cooperation amongst multiple municipalities within the watersheds, including the development of common water quality ordinances.
Low-Impact Development Roundtable
Initiated and facilitated a series of roundtable discussions on Low-Impact Development in Maine. Participants include representatives of state planning and environmental protection agencies, economic development organizations, consulting engineers and architects, public finance organizations, Smart Growth advocates, university researchers, and municipal planning and engineering staff. The goal of the roundtables is to promote greater cooperation and collaboration amongst the disparate groups involved in Low-Impact Development activities and to seek solutions to water quality protection that do not result in the unintended consequence of urban sprawl.
Stormwater Municipal User Fee Initiative
Facilitation of an initiative to research and implement options for regional stormwater management funding through the development of municipal user fees or the creation of stormwater management utility districts. Participants include a steering committee of city and town managers from municipalities in Southern Maine and a technical subcommittee of municipal engineers and planners, state environmental regulators, state planning officials, the New England Environmental Finance Center and the Maine Municipal Association. The initiative’s goal is to develop a common approach through a regional funding mechanism or common template to be used by individual municipalities.
Stormwater Standard Operating Procedures
Facilitated working group developing a Standard Operating Procedures manual on stormwater best management practices for municipal operations. Coordinated efforts between funder, engineering consultants, technical writers, and municipalities. Facilitated focus groups of municipal employees to gather input on feasibility of practices.
Sebago Lake Public Dialogue
Conducted a stakeholder assessment addressing conflict over multiple uses of Sebago Lake for drinking water supply and recreation. Sebago Lake is the second largest lake in Maine and is one of the state’s most heavily used recreational assets, as well as serving as the primary drinking water supply for almost 200,000 people in southern Maine. Issued recommendations for process design for multi-stakeholder dialogue on integrated lake management. Portland Water District has acted on the recommendations by introducing new public participation components into its land use policymaking, gathering input from area residents and other stakeholders.
Third Herring Brook Restoration Project
Performed a stakeholder analysis and facilitated community forums to identify issues relating to restoration of fish passage and other watershed improvements on a river in Southeast Massachusetts. Stakeholders include local residents, dam owners, local and national advocacy groups, and local, state and federal agencies. Barriers to fish passage date back to the late 1600’s, with impoundments that have been traditionally been used by local residents for fishing, boating, ice-skating and other activities. The project resulted in the identification of key issues, increased common understanding amongst the stakeholders, and the development of a framework for continued dialogue on these issues. A central focus is being placed on creating a locally-led community stewardship program.
EPA Environmental Finance Advisory Board – Watershed Governance Workshop
Panelist for national workshop on innovative approaches to governance and funding mechanisms for intergovernmental watershed management and restoration projects.
Stormwater Management in Cold Climates: Planning, Design, and Implementation
Facilitated the steering committee and served as de facto co-chair for the first international North American Conference dedicated specifically to addressing the challenges of urban stormwater management in cold climates. The conference was a forum for dialogue, information exchange and problem-solving across multiple disciplines and cold climate regions.Two days of sessions featured 55 presenters addressing a broad range of stormwater topics. 375 participants from Canada, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, New Zealand, and twenty-two U.S. states included engineers, scientists, government staff, developers, designers, landscape architects, contractors, students, and others.
Long Creek TMDL Stakeholder Process
Provided process design consultation to convenors of multi-stakeholder initiative to develop a TMDL watershed management plan.
Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA)
Led the facilitation team for Envisioning the Future of Coastal Management, an national initiative of the Coastal States Organization (CSO) and NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM). Over a 9-month period, stakeholders were engaged throughout the coastal U.S. This stakeholder input formed the basis for a strategic planning effort by CSO and NOAA to develop core principles and options for re-authorization of the CZMA, the nation's primary statute governing management of the U.S. coastal regions.
Maine Marine Assessment
Conducted a stakeholder assessment to determine feasibility of proceeding with a multi-year stakeholder dialogue on marine conservation and sustainability of coastal fisheries and coastal communities. Key goals of the assessment were to determine overall feasibility, appropriate scope and geographic scale of the dialogue, and integration with multiple other marine planning efforts. The recommended dialogue process was initiated in late 2007 and is proceeding forward.
Casco Bay Plan Revision - Casco Bay Estuary Partnership
As part of the US EPA's National Estuary Program, the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership is charged with implementing a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, which was first developed in the early 1990's. Facilitation was provided to perform a 10-year update of the Casco Bay Plan to address new threats and opportunities that have arisen since the plan’s adoption. This year-long process involved the full board and executive committee of the Estuary Project, five standing technical subcommittees and other interested parties. The five primary focus areas were stormwater, shellfish/swimming areas, habitat protection, toxic pollution, and stewardship. The parties involved include regional, state and federal agencies, municipalities, advocacy groups, businesses, natural-resource industry representatives, local residents and others. Particular challenges include responding to new threats and opportunities while respecting the integrity of the broad public involvement in the original plan development, and balancing the management needs and vision with practicality and achievability.
Maine Healthy Beaches Interagency Subcommittee
Facilitated an initiative to resolve conflicting authority and foster cooperation amongst multiple agencies involved with the Maine Healthy Beaches Program. Agencies include State Planning Office, Department of Conservation, Department of Marine Resources, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Environmental Protection. Outcomes have included the development of comprehensive strategies to address program improvement and the current development of a set of MOU’s amongst the participating agencies.
Municipal Land Use Task Force
Mediation of a highly volatile situation sparked by development proposal for 80-lot grandfathered residential subdivision (paper street development). Local residents and developer engaged in highly adversarial activity, including legal action and restraining orders. City enacted a moratorium on paper street development and convened task force to recommend citywide policy changes. Assessment process was used to scope issues and bring key parties to the table. Facilitated 10-person task force including residents, developers, city board and commission members, and others reaching full consensus on a creative comprehensive approach to paper street development. Recommendations received unanimous Planning Board and City Council approval for adoption within the City's Land Use Ordinance.
Maine State Building Code
Provided facilitation, mediation, and leadership of a process which has resolved a long-standing dispute over the development of a statewide building code. For many years, attempts have been made to develop a Maine State Building Code. All have failed due to polarization amongst the stakeholders. At the request of the legislature, a working group was convened to reach consensus on this difficult issue. Over seventy people participated, guided by a ten-person steering committee. Consensus was reached on a set of recommendations which formed the basis of a legislative initiative which was passed by the legislature in the spring of 2004. Interests represented include architects, engineers, contractors, fire protection agencies, real estate developers, insurance, municipal staff and elected officials, and eight separate state agencies.
Maine Building Rehabilitation Code Advisory Council
Performed process design and facilitated this legislatively-appointed 25-member Advisory Council charged with developing policy recommendations for a building rehabilitation code and other public policy changes to increase the re-use of downtown buildings and reduce impacts on natural resources in suburban and rural areas resulting from urban sprawl. Interests represented on the council included land conservation and Smart Growth advocates, real estate developers, architects, engineers, contractors, code enforcement officials, historic preservation and handicapped accessibility advocates. The Advisory Council successfully reached full consensus on a set of recommendations outlining legislative actions and agency policy changes necessary to accomplish the project’s goals.
Pinedale Anticline Working Group
Chartered by the Bureau of Land Management as a federal advisory committee, this working group is addressing environmental monitoring and mitigation on the Pinedale Anticline Project Area, a 200,000 acre oil and gas drilling project. Facilitation was provided to the working group composed of representatives of the local community, State of Wyoming, landowners, oil and gas operators, environmental interests, county government, livestock operators, and the public at large. This region of Wyoming, located within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, is projected to soon be the largest natural-gas producing region in the U.S.
Northern Forest Stewardship Act
Lead mediator in the resolution of a controversial public conflict over forest management and land use issues in the Northeast U.S. The goal was to reach consensus between conservation groups and the forest-products industry to advance federal legislation implementing recommendations of the Northern Forest Lands Council (NFLC), a federally sanctioned consensus-based committee. The industry-conservation partnership developed in the NFLC process had been severely damaged as a result of a bitter referendum campaign in Maine seeking to ban clearcutting. Parties included state and national conservation groups, forest-products industry representatives, forest landowners, congressional officials and congressional staff. In addition to facilitating the dialogue between the groups, assistance was provided to the stakeholders and congressional staff in negotiating the drafting of the legislation. The outcome was agreement between industry and conservationists to support a federal legislative package consisting of the Northern Forest Stewardship Act and the Family Forestland Preservation Tax Act.
Northern Forest Alliance
Facilitation of this coalition of non-profit conservation groups involved with forest conservation issues in Maine, focusing on the development of consensus-based policy stances regarding forest management and conservation. Members of the coalition included representatives of local, state and national environmental groups with diverse and sometimes conflicting perspectives. Issues included forest management practices, public land acquisition, public access, creation of ecological reserves, and wildlife management. Outcome was the development of a series of consensus-based positions on a variety of issues, including legislative initiatives, rulemaking processes, administrative actions, and public-private partnerships.
Water Resource Public Access Strategic Planning
Facilitation of a strategic planning effort for the Maine Department of Conservation to develop comprehensive strategies for developing public access to waters of the state.
Cumberland County Natural Hazard Mitigation Planning
Served as facilitator and process designer to develop an intermunicipal natural hazard mitigation plan. The plan addresses community priorities for measures to lessen the impacts from wildfires, floods and severe summer and winter storms. The planning team included representatives of local governments, regional planning agencies, businesses, non-profits, utility companies, emergency responders, and natural-resource agencies. A strong public participation component within each of the twenty seven municipalities was utilized involving direct facilitation of meetings as well as guidance of efforts by the municipalities. Key aspects included the translation of technical hazard data into common language for local residents, as well as facilitating collaborative regional approaches to mitigation strategies.
SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
Maine Solid Waste Management Task Force
Performed a stakeholder assessment and facilitation of this 32-person task force charged with reviewing state policy on solid waste management and recycling. Issues included siting of landfills and incinerators, host community impacts and benefits, hierarchy of waste management approaches, importation of out-of-state waste, and roles of the state, local communities, and the commercial sector. Members represented state agencies, commercial and public facility operators, municipalities, local residents, business interests, waste collection companies, and environmental advocates.
Vermont Waste Prevention Plan
Facilitation of a statewide planning process to develop a five-year plan for waste prevention. Participants include state agencies, product manufacturers, large-scale commercial and industrial facilities, retail distributors, advocacy groups, trade organizations, and the general public. Project is being funded by the US EPA and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, with the aim of developing a transferable model.