Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Empowering communities to create shared solutions

Service Areas: Consensus Building

Sustainable Food Strategy Task Force

 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 →

Categorized as: Current, Consensus Building, Dialogue, Health & Food, Educational Institutions,

Dan River Basin Community Stakeholder Team

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 →

Categorized as: 2010s, Consensus Building, Dialogue, Public Participation, People & Communities, Water, Business and Industry,

Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Certificate

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 →

Categorized as: 2010s, Consensus Building, Land, Water, Business and Industry,Nonprofit Organizations,State Government,

DEQ Negotiation Training

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.   

Categorized as: 2010s, Consensus Building, Training, State Government,

Regulatory Negotiations: MS4, Construction Permits, Nutrient Trading

(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.

Categorized as: 2010s, Consensus Building, People & Communities, Water, State Government,

Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute

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 →

Categorized as: Core Project, Current, Consensus Building, Training, Energy, Land, People & Communities, Water,

Chesapeake Bay Roundtable: Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act

(1986-1987) IEN facilitated the Chesapeake Bay Land-Use Roundtable, an endeavor funded by the Virginia General Assembly and convened to develop consensus for a clear set of policies and programs to guide land use planning and development around the Bay. The recommendations resulting from the 18-month Roundtable served as a basis for the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act. This work was the precursor to more than a dozen Bay-related projects for IEN and to its current work on coastal resilience in the Commonwealth.

Categorized as: 1980s, Consensus Building, Land, Water, State Government,

Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund Redevelopment

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 →

Categorized as: 2000s, Consensus Building, Public Participation, People & Communities, Federal Government,

Eco-Logical Pilot Project—Free Bridge Area Congestion Relief

(2014) The U.S. 250 link across the Rivanna River known locally as Free Bridge is a key connector for local and regional traffic, but the level of service for the 53,000 daily vehicles that cross it is already grossly inadequate and will be 25 percent worse by 2040. In response, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) and Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) adopted an ecosystem-based approach to developing infrastructure project alternatives called “Eco-Logical” and secured a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant to fund a related... Continue reading →

Categorized as: 2010s, Consensus Building, Strategic Planning, Land, People & Communities, Local Government,

Elizabeth River Project: Eastern Branch Strategy

(2014) The Elizabeth River Eastern Branch Strategy is being developed by multiple stakeholders within the Elizabeth River watershed. The Institute, working with the Elizabeth River Project, served as facilitator throughout the project, including four large group meetings. After creating the vision below, the group reached consensus on a series of goals and actions intended to identify and address contamination, restore wildlife habitat, and engage the public. The initial planning phase was completed in August 2014, with implementation expected to take a number of years. A healthy, enduring... Continue reading →

Categorized as: 2010s, Consensus Building, Water,

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