And Stakeholder Involvement Process
Cole & Associates has played an instrumental role in a number of
stakeholder and community involvement processes on environmental issues.
ability to work effectively in such processes is enhanced by his expertise
in the environmental sciences and his extensive experience with the
diverse parties (community, corporate and government). As the case
studies demonstrate, Cole has helped stakeholders find consensus,
compromises and win-win solutions.
for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
ATSDR is a federal agency
(Department of Health and Human Services) that conducts health assessments,
health studies and advisories in communities affected by hazardous waste
sites and environmental releases. ATSDR retained Cole & Associates
beginning in 1995 to help the Agency improve its public involvement program
and relations with affected communities.
Cole was principal investigator and author of a 1996 report evaluating
ATSDR's community involvement practices. The report contains case
studies and recommendations. (Report provided on request).
Cole helped to develop and implement an advisory process in which
community and tribal activists from around the country meet four times
annually to provide recommendations to ATSDR. The group is known as
the Community/Tribal Subcommittee. Dr. Cole has served as a facilitator
and information source since the group's inception in 1997.
the interactions involved considerable anger on the part of community
leaders and skepticism on the part of many agency officials. However,
the process has evolved and has resulted in a number of significant
achievements. For example, Community and tribal advisors in cooperation
with the Agency and Tulane University developed a video used to help
ATSDR staff become more sensitive to community concerns and work effectively
with diverse peoples.
Dr. Cole served as technical advisor to the Winthrop Landfill Citizen
Action Group. He helped the group to win its primary objective - pro-active
measures to capture the leachate from a chemical dump. The leachate was
flowing unimpeded into a lake that is used extensively for recreation,
fishing and as a backup water source.
sound technical position and effective campaign led United Technologies
to join a multi-party stakeholder process that included the EPA, the
community and state agency. Subsequently the company installed a leachate
collection system and a soil vapor extraction system to reduce VOC source
contamination in the landfill. By taking these steps United Technologies
satisfied the community and turned a looming public relations disaster
into a much celebrated "win-win."
& Associates circular, "Negotiating Environmental Cleanup:
Creating Win-Win Frameworks" provides further detail on this
and additional case studies. To request a copy, email us at email@example.com.
Cole's editorial on the need to incorporate community involvement
Growth" was published in The Washington Post.