Service Areas: Consensus Building
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 →
(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 →
(2014) The Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel project has been in the works for many years and is ongoing. The Institute has provided occasional support, ranging from facilitating a few stakeholder meetings, to developing a written report of the history of the Tunnel and efforts to bring it to life, to helping students provide support to Nelson County and the Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel Foundation with class projects. The mission of the Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel Foundation is the restoration and preservation of the Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel as a valuable historical asset... Continue reading →
(2013) Between July and November of 2013, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) convened a stakeholder group of 25 individuals representing nine interest groups to make recommendations for the future of its onsite septic program. The Safety and Health in Facilitating a Transition (SHIFT) process was planned through a collaborative effort involving the VDH, IEN as independent facilitator, and a six-person planning team representing diverse stakeholder interests. IEN began the process by conducting interviews with members of the committee, representing the following sectors: builders and... Continue reading →
(2012) IEN facilitated a capacity building and partnership initiative with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Maryland local governments.On the premise that healthy terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems can most successfully be achieved in partnership with local government, IEN led a process to address the greatest threat to Maryland's natural resources and the critical ecosystem support functions they provide, watershed use change. The goal to develop a pro-active approach to strategically target DNR assistance to protect the most ecologically valuable resources threatened... Continue reading →