Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Empowering communities to create shared solutions

Clients: State Government

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,

Safety and Health in Facilitating a Transition (SHIFT)

(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 →

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

Sustainable Fisheries

(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 →

Categorized as: 2010s, Consensus Building, Water, Local Government,State Government,

Community Solutions Training

(2007) The trainings assisted government officials in understanding the possibilities for using collaborative processes in community-wide disputes and public policy situations.  In addition, the trainings broadened the capacity of local mediators to facilitate public policy disputes and situations. Working with local mediation centers, the organizers from IEN invited to these regional trainings public officials, the business community, community nonprofits, and religious leaders from the region to participate in a half-day session designed for the public. IEN trained the mediators for a day... Continue reading →

Categorized as: 2010s, Training, People & Communities, Local Government,State Government,

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,

Virginia Department of Health: Waterworks Regulations

(2014) With planning beginning in January, a contract finalized in May, and five meetings held between August and November 2014, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Office of Drinking Water convened a stakeholder group of 31 individuals to make recommendations for updating drinking water regulations for the Commonwealth of Virginia. RAP members were selected by ODW. Membership represented diverse interests across the state, including local utilities, private providers, advocates for low-income housing, and others. The Waterworks Regulations Regulatory Advisory Panel (RAP) process was... Continue reading →

Categorized as: 2010s, Public Participation, Water, State Government,

Maryland Eastern Shore Waste Solutions Collaborative Inititative

(2008) Inspired by the Virginia Waste Solutions Forum in 2005, the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center convened a meeting among stakeholders representing a wide range of agricultural and environmental interests on Maryland's Delmarva peninsula in February 2008. At this meeting, participants explored the potential for establishing a collaborative effort to improve water quality while fostering agricultural economic viability. While a decision had not been finalized, participants agreed that a collaborative could be worthwhile and that they would continue meeting to explore the... Continue reading →

Categorized as: 2000s, Dialogue, Land, State Government,

Maryland Capacity Building in Collaborative Solutions

(2007) This project is networked Maryland court officials, local government officials, and community leaders with community mediators and private practice mediators. IEN provided the training in consensus building and collaboration for the group to help the government officials and mediators work collaboratively on community problem solving.

Categorized as: 2000s, Training, People & Communities, State Government,

Virginia Stormwater Consensus Building

(2007)  The IEN facilitated a consensus-building process to help the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) consider amendments to portions of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board's Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit Regulations. IEN work included refining the goals and desired outcomes of the discussion, interviewing members of a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to introduce the consensus building process and assess key needs, interests and concerns, and facilitating three meetings of the TAC. The Board approved the proposed MS4 General Permit... Continue reading →

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

Abrams/Opequon TMDL Implementation Plan Consensus Building

(2006) Provided facilitation assistance to the twenty person Abrams/Opequon TMDL Implementation Steering Committee in Winchester and Frederick County (Virginia), in partnership with Virginia Tech and West Virginia University. The process involved helping plan and facilitate five Abrams/Opequon TMDL Steering Committee meetings throughout 2005 and 2006. It also involved planning and conducting three public workshops, averaging approximately 40 participants each, in conjunction with the Abrams/Opequon Steering Committee in the summer of 2006. The Abrams/Opequon TMDL implementation plan was... Continue reading →

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

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