Service Areas: Consensus Building
Photos courtesy of Stacey Evans (left) and Nina Morris (right). The IEN is working with the Sustainable Food Strategy task force to implement the University of Virginia's Sustainability Plan (2016-2020) goals relating to food. Now entering its second year of work, the task force is chaired by Andrea Trimble, Sustainability Director, and facilitated by Tanya Denckla Cobb, Director of IEN, and includes a broad array of representatives concerned and interested in food and its impacts:... Continue reading →
On February 2, 2014 between 30,000 and 39,000 tons of coal ash and approximately 24 to 27 million gallons of ash pond water from the Duke Energy Dan River Steam Station were released into the Dan River. As part of its response to this event, Duke Energy contracted with IEN to provide impartial process design and facilitation of a community Stakeholder Team to identify community concerns and seek community consensus for solutions that address the impacts of the coal ash release. The facilitation team also included Dr. Martha Walker of Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE). The Dan River Basin... Continue reading →
A new professional certificate is being developed to assist in the Bay cleanup effort. Local governments wish to know who they can trust to design and install BMPs that will qualify and count toward their TMDL load reductions goals. Others wish to raise the bar, so that landscape professionals become more knowledgeable about Bay-appropriate design and BMPs, in design, implementation, and maintenance. IEN has been asked to serve as facilitator for the steering committee consensus decision-making meetings, led by a partnership of Wetlands Watch, the... Continue reading →
Employees of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality participated in a two-day training provided by IEN in Summer 2015 on interest-based negotiation (IBN). In 2016, IEN conducted another two-day training in IBN as well as a separate two-day training in designing and facilitating community engagement.
(2012) IEN worked with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to facilitate separate discussions for the MS4 General Permit RAP, the Construction General Permit RAP, and the Nutrient Trading RAP. The goals of the negotations were: to ensure that all RAP members have an opportunity to be heard and are able to contribute to discussions, to determine key issues of concern to RAP members and facilitate discussions of how proposed regulatory amendments address those concerns, and to help identify consensus and remaining differences concerning draft proposed regulations.
The Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute is a program for emerging leaders confronted with Virginia's most pressing natural resource issues who seek new skills in conflict resolution and collaborative problem solving. VNRLI is comprised of six sessions held over nine months in regions across Virginia, during which Fellows learn about the important environmental issues facing our state through a combination of mini-lectures, experiential exercises, stakeholder panel discussions, and field trips. You can find more information about the program... Continue reading →
(2000) With facilitation by the IEN, a twenty-two member Advisory Committee met for six all-day meetings to discuss and debate how best to protect public health, minimize the need for remedial action, and reduce permitting delays for Virginia's onsite septic system permitting and inspection program. Following a charge by the General Assembly to privatize the onsite septic system program, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) had been grappling with the difficult issues associated with privatization of functions that required continued public oversight. The Committee developed a consensus... Continue reading →
(1999 - 2000) The Town of Shenandoah lies just below Shenandoah National Park. A Brownfields Assessment Pilot grant, finalized in October 1998, provided $200,000 to help the town determine any contamination present in the soil or groundwater of the 65-acre \"Big Gem\" site, where an iron furnace had long ago ceased operations, and to create a cleanup and redevelopment plan. To structure the process, the EPA offered the help of the Harrisonburg Community Mediation Center and the Institute for Environmental Negotiation to the Town of Shenandoah. For the two year process that followed, IEN... Continue reading →
(2010 - Present) The Clinch River Valley Initiative (CRVI) is a pioneering effort to build local economies in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia, focusing on the Clinch River Valley—one of the most biodiverse river systems in North America. Working at a watershed scale with several local partners, this grassroots effort has developed significant support and momentum throughout the region. Utilizing a consensus-based approach, project partners have developed goals for connecting downtown revitalization, outdoor recreation, creating a state park, enhancing water quality, entrepreneurship and... Continue reading →
(2012 - 2014) Frostburg State University’s “Sustaining Campus and Community” dialogue series began its second year in the spring of 2012. The goal of these sessions it to help the community of Frostburg, Maryland strengthen neighborhood relationships and foster a nonviolent, civil culture. The dialogue sessions convene students, year-round residents, local officials, and University leaders to discuss issues and create new opportunities for collaborative problem-solving and coalition-building in Frostburg. Dr. Frank Dukes of the IEN, Dr. Marvin Johnson, founder and executive director of the... Continue reading →