Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Empowering communities to create shared solutions

Service Areas: Consensus Building

Clarkton Bridge

IEN facilitated a stakeholder engagement process, funded by the Virginia Transportation Research Council, to determine the future of Clarkton Bridge. The bridge, which spans the Staunton River at the border between Halifax and Charlotte Counties in southern Virginia, is over 100 years old, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The condition of the bridge has deteriorated and it has been closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic for several years. The Virginia Department of Transportation felt that the bridge posed a hazard to public safety and should be removed, while some... Continue reading →

Categorized as: 2010s, Consensus Building, Dialogue, Public Participation, Land, People & Communities, Water, Nonprofit Organizations,State Government,

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,

Regulatory Negotiation and Consensus Building for Onsite Septic System Regulations

(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 →

Categorized as: 2000s, Consensus Building, Land, State Government,

Town of Shenandoah National Pilot Brownfields Redevelopment

(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 →

Categorized as: 2000s, Consensus Building, Land, Federal Government,

Clinch River Valley Initiative

(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 →

Categorized as: Core Project, Current, Consensus Building, Public Participation, Research, Strategic Planning, Health & Food, People & Communities, Water,

Pages