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Capacity Building Report

Building Capacity to Participate in Environmental Protection Agency Activities:

A NEEDS ASSESSMENT AND ANALYSIS

Copyright © 1999 Environmental Law Institute®

Acknowledgments
This report was prepared by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) with funding from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Assistance Agreement ID No. CR-822795-01. It does not represent the views of the EPA and no official endorsement should be inferred. This report was written by Linda Breggin and Heidi Hallman. Additional Environmental Law Institute staff contributing to this report were Rose Edmonds, Shi-Ling Hsu, Suellen Keiner, Elissa Parker, Lisa Pelstring, Brian Rohan, and Jill van Berg. A special thanks is extended to all of the interviewees who provided us with their insights and to Kevin Bryan, Velma Smith and Gerald Torres for reviewing and commenting on the report. The views expressed in this report are not necessarily the views of the commenters and interviewees.


Building Capacity to Participate in Environmental Protection Agency Activities: A Needs Assessment and Analysis.
Copyright © 1999 Environmental Law Institute ®. A limited license is granted to download and store in an electronic or print format one copy of the work for personal or non-profit, educational use, provided that this notice of copyright ownership and license appears on any such copy made. All other rights are reserved by the Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC.

ELI Project #941750
ISBN #0-911937-96-X, d9.09

(Environmental Law Institute®, The Environmental Forum®, ELR®, and the Environmental Law Reporter® are registered trademarks of the Environmental Law Institute.)

 

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

A. Background on Public Involvement and EPAs Approach to Public Participation

B. Study Methodology

II. Overview of Interview Themes

A. Who Needs Capacity Building?

B. What Capacity Building is Needed?

C. How Should Capacity Building Tools Be Delivered?

III. Potential Approaches to Capacity Building

A. Independent Information Broker

  1. Overview
  2. Models
  3. Discussion

B. Ombudspersons

  1. Overview
  2. Models
  3. Discussion

C. Hotlines

  1. Overview
  2. Models
  3. Discussion

D. Technical Assistance Grants

  1. Overview
  2. Models
  3. Discussion

E. Citizen Training on EPA Processes and Legal Requirements

  1. Overview
  2. Models
  3. Discussion


F. New Collaborative Participation Processes

  1. Overview
  2. Models
  3. Discussion


G. Increased Data Availability and Dissemination Networks

  1. Overview
  2. Models
  3. Discussion


H. Grants to Community Groups

  1. Overview
  2. Models
  3. Discussion


I. Improved Access to Documents

  1. Overview
  2. Models
  3. Discussion&


J. Improved Mailing Lists

  1. Overview
  2. Models
  3. Discussion

IV. Impediments to Building Local Capacity

A. Perceived Futility of Public Participation

B. Lack of Defined Purpose for Public Participation

C. Lack of Time, Resources and Interest

D. Need for New Participation Processes

E. Need for Increased Oversight of State Public Participation

V. Observations and Considerations for Moving Forward

A. Numerous Opportunities Exist to Build Local Capacity

B. The Need To Involve the Public in Shaping Capacity Building

C. The Need to Address Lack of Public Confidence In and Inaccessibility of EPA Processes

VI. Next Steps

A. Public Participation Authority, Goals and Public Participation Plan

  1. Review of EPAs Mandate and Authorities for Public Involvement
  2. Development of Public Participation Goals and Principles
  3. Development of a Public Participation Plan

B. A Strategic Approach to Capacity Building

C. Potential Pilot or Programmatic Initiatives

  1. Information Dissemination
  2. Training for Communities
  3. Technical Support
  4. Proactive Assessment of Community Needs

Appendix A: Additional Information on Programs and Initiatives

 

Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Overview III. Approaches
IV. Impediments V. Observations VI. Next Steps Appendix

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