Our vast experience involves a number of precedent setting projects that achieved success through innovative best management practices.
Environmental Programs Overview:
We provide our clients over 30 years of direct environmental programs and policy experience to address the public involvement and outreach requirements associated with the National Environmental Policy, Superfund, and a range of environmental compliance policies.
- Public involvement strategist for the largest geographical scope EIS (at the time), DoD Range Rule
- Public involvement strategist for the largest public turnout for an EIS (at the time), U.S. Forest Service Roadless Conservation Area
- Public involvement strategist for the responsible party involved in the first enforcement action ever taken by the EPA against another federal agency under the Safe Drinking Water Act
- Public involvement strategist for the first ever Programmatic EA conducted by the Department of Homeland Security
- Public involvement strategist for the first ever enforcement action taken by the USDA Biotechnology Regulatory Service against a crop producer permit violation
Planning and Policy:
- A founding member of the first dedicated environmental public affairs staff (branch) within the Department of Defense at the National Guard Bureau, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
- Past member, Department of Defense Environmental Public Affairs Policy Board, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
- Primary author of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Public Communication Handbook
- Primary author, City of Lincoln’s Transportation and Utilities (LTU) Communication Policy
- Facilitated and led the public involvement effort for the first intersection improvement project design competition held within the State of Nebraska. This initiative for the 14th Street – Old Cheney Road – Warlick Boulevard intersection broke a 15 year logjam of public opposition to three previous design improvement attempts for the City of Lincoln, NE.
- Our principal encouraged the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) to use an innovative public participation approach that exceeded the minimum standards of the department’s public involvement procedure to gage the willingness of the citizens of Chappell, NE to allow for reduced accessibility with their only direct connection to Interstate 80. This innovative outreach approach resulted in the public recommending the state use the more restrictive construction option to speed up completion of the project by 3 months and saving taxpayers $1.6 million.
- The City of Columbus, Nebraska has a population of over 23,000 residents and the community is literally divided by the mainline of the Union Pacific railroad, with only one viaduct to safely keep pedestrians and traffic moving over the tracks. On average 80 trains pass through town each day, with average delays for each at-grade crossing of 2 1/2 minutes per train. Over a 20 year period the city brought eight different proposals to build an additional viaduct (1) before its citizens to vote on funding these solutions. Citizen concerns shot each measure down. The last measure to fail involved a city cost share of $32,000 for an $8 million viaduct. Our principal worked with community leaders to form a citizen panel to study the safety and transportation needs that the city had been trying to address. This facilitated process resulted in the city adopting the citizen panel’s recommendation to build not one, but three new viaducts. The city’s cost share under this proposal became $12 million on a $34 million dollar project. Our public participation approach helped the funding measure pass the public vote by more than 4 to 1.
- Our principal led the public participation effort and designed a public information strategy that led to the successful passage of a $20 million bond measure to fund the site selection and construction for the Council Bluffs, IA new police headquarters. The measure passed with 64 percent of the vote, and it was the only bond measure to pass on the first vote in over 30 years.
- We also assisted the City of Beatrice, NE in passing their sales tax increase to fund a new fire station for the community. This measure passed with 65 percent of voters in favor of the sales tax increase.
- Our principal facilitated citizen panels and the public involvement strategies for two separate landmark water management and water quality initiatives that broke through years of contention among citizens with their natural resource districts (NRD). The first landmark initiative was the first-ever joint voluntary integrated management planning process held among two NRDs (Little Blue NRD and Tri-Basin NRD) with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.
- The second landmark initiative involved the first-ever combined stakeholder involvement effort for both a Water Quality Management Plan and a Voluntary Integrated Management Plan for the Upper Big Blue NRD in concert with the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.
We have created training courses and provided instruction for the EPA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency, the National Guard Bureau, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, City of Lincoln, NE and the Douglas County (Nebraska) Health Department. More than 3000 multidisciplinary professionals have attended these courses nationwide and in Japan. Course topics include:
- Risk communication
- Dispute resolution, negotiation and conflict management
- Community relations and public involvement
- News media relations