Time Period: 2000S
(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 →
(2004) Communities throughout Virginia face many complex challenges such as water supply, transportation, affordable housing, community safety, and growth. Too often efforts to address these problems fail because individuals and agencies are working in isolation from one another. Public officials and civic-minded community members find few forums that bring people together to seek common and higher ground; indeed, the formal structure of public hearings and judicial and administrative appeals often exacerbates rather than resolves conflict. Utilizing a... Continue reading →
(2000) During its second year, the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC) began a strategic planning process and identified near-term goals for the organization. The VWMC developed working committees, organized and initiated an on-going inventory of water-monitoring activities in the state, and developed a survey to determine the needs of organizations involved in monitoring throughout the state. IEN facilitated this Strategic Planning process.
One of the United States’ most beautiful places is also the home of one of its most shameful episodes. Bainbridge Island, home to some twenty-three thousand people, has gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier, the Seattle skyline, and the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. On March 30, 1942, 227 Bainbridge Island men, women and children of Japanese ancestry – more than half of whom were United States citizens – began their long trek into betrayal, as they left the island under armed guard to what was for them an unknown destination. These were the first of more than 120,000 citizens and immigrants... Continue reading →
(2001) Bruce Dotson authored a handbook entitled “ Land Uses and Transportation Choices for the Future\" for the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC). The Handbook is intended for an audience of both citizens and professionals. Part I describes the Corplan computer model created by the project and the thinking behind its development. Part II describes the process of organizing and conducting a planning process built around the model. Consensus building and process design are two considerations which reflect the IEN’s work. This handbook benefitted other communities in... Continue reading →
(2004 - 2005) The Virginia Ad Hoc Dam Safety Task Force facilitated by IEN Senior Associate Bruce Dotson and Director Frank Dukes met four times over a period of five months to adjust dam safety specifications in situations where development has taken place downstream after the dam was originally constructed and where, if a dam failed during a maximal storm, there would be threat to life as well as property and infrastructure. A substantial number of these dams were owned by home owner associations in lake oriented communities. The committee looked at the regulatory requirements from a... Continue reading →
(1994 - 2001) With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the IEN helped to find ways of navigating around the devastating cuts suffered by tobacco farming families, while mitigating the harm caused by tobacco products. During this process, farmers, health advocates, and community development advocates reached agreements about the uses of funding from the settlement announced between the tobacco companies and the states. In Virginia, these discussions produced legislation as farmers and health advocates joined together in an unprecedented alliance to craft a plan to fund... Continue reading →
(2005) In May 2005, IEN was invited by the National Preservation Institute to develop a training for people who manage projects involving historical preservation and natural resources, including SHPOs, Transportation agencies, Business, Environmental nonprofits, and others. The 3-day training builds capacity for conflict resolution, negotiation and consensus building in projects involving the Section 106 and NEPA regulatory frameworks.
(1999 - 2001) The IEN assisted a two-year transportation project for the greater Charlottesville area, with a focus on the eastern portion to Zion's Crossroads. The project was led by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, which received a two-year Transportation, Community, and System Preservation grant to develop a regional integrated land use and transportation plan for the counties of Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa, Albemarle and the City of Charlottesville. The project was unusual in that it attempted modeling and visioning not for the typical 20 years, but for the next 50 years.... Continue reading →