Introduction

In this report, the National Research Council Committee on Reviewand Evaluation of the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (StockpileCommittee) reviews the public affairs program of the Program Managerfor Chemical Demilitarization's (PMCD's) Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program(CSDP). The recommendations presented herein focus on the evolvingissues at the core of the PMCD Public Outreach and Information Office's (POIO) activities.

In a 1996 letter report, Public Involvement and the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program,the Stockpile Committee described three essential elements of acomprehensive public affairs program (NRC, 1996):

  • public relations

  • public outreach

  • public involvement

The public relations component consists of distributing informationvia mailed brochures, libraries, radio broadcasts, and other mediain an attempt to reach diverse stakeholders. Public outreach, thesecond component, consists of opening channels of communication tothe government agency so that the values, concerns, and needs ofvarious stakeholders can be heard. Public involvement, the thirdand by far the most difficult component to establish, is a formalprocess that provides stakeholders an opportunity to influence decisionswithout surrendering the agency's legal mandate to make those decisions.The three components of a public affairs program must be closelycoordinated.

Relevant recommendations from previous reports by the Stockpile Committeeconcerning relationships between the CSDP and various stakeholdersare reprinted below in chronological order.

Recommendation 6. The Army should develop a program of increased scope aimed at improvingcommunication with the public at the storage sites. In addition,the Army should proactively seek out greater community involvementin decisions regarding the technology selection process, oversightof operations, and plans for decommissioning facilities. Finally,the Army should work closely with the Chemical Demilitarization Citizens' Advisory Commissions, which have been (or will be) established inaffected states. There must be a firmer and more visible commitmentto engaging the public and addressing its concerns in the program.[NRC, 1994]

Recommendation 8a. The Army should identify relevant stakeholders and should solicitinput on program issues from them. The Army should provide both adescription of the intended use of the input and feedback on theeffect of the input on decision-making. [NRC, 1995]

Recommendation 1. The Army and the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program management atall levels must make an increased commitment to public involvementthroughout the entire program.



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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM Introduction In this report, the National Research Council Committee on Reviewand Evaluation of the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (StockpileCommittee) reviews the public affairs program of the Program Managerfor Chemical Demilitarization's (PMCD's) Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program(CSDP). The recommendations presented herein focus on the evolvingissues at the core of the PMCD Public Outreach and Information Office's (POIO) activities. In a 1996 letter report, Public Involvement and the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program,the Stockpile Committee described three essential elements of acomprehensive public affairs program (NRC, 1996): public relations public outreach public involvement The public relations component consists of distributing informationvia mailed brochures, libraries, radio broadcasts, and other mediain an attempt to reach diverse stakeholders. Public outreach, thesecond component, consists of opening channels of communication tothe government agency so that the values, concerns, and needs ofvarious stakeholders can be heard. Public involvement, the thirdand by far the most difficult component to establish, is a formalprocess that provides stakeholders an opportunity to influence decisionswithout surrendering the agency's legal mandate to make those decisions.The three components of a public affairs program must be closelycoordinated. Relevant recommendations from previous reports by the Stockpile Committeeconcerning relationships between the CSDP and various stakeholdersare reprinted below in chronological order. Recommendation 6. The Army should develop a program of increased scope aimed at improvingcommunication with the public at the storage sites. In addition,the Army should proactively seek out greater community involvementin decisions regarding the technology selection process, oversightof operations, and plans for decommissioning facilities. Finally,the Army should work closely with the Chemical Demilitarization Citizens' Advisory Commissions, which have been (or will be) established inaffected states. There must be a firmer and more visible commitmentto engaging the public and addressing its concerns in the program.[NRC, 1994] Recommendation 8a. The Army should identify relevant stakeholders and should solicitinput on program issues from them. The Army should provide both adescription of the intended use of the input and feedback on theeffect of the input on decision-making. [NRC, 1995] Recommendation 1. The Army and the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program management atall levels must make an increased commitment to public involvementthroughout the entire program.

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should establishand develop mechanisms and processes that allow direct input by affectedcitizens into the decision-making process for destruction of thestockpile. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should developand implement a detailed public involvement plan that identifiesprogram elements where the public and affected parties can make significantcontributions to program decisions. The plan should be developedwith input from the public, citizens advisory commissions, and otheraffected parties. The plan should define the goal of public involvement,a process for identifying opportunities for public input and review,mechanisms for interaction between the public and parties responsiblefor implementing the disposal program, and individual and collectiveroles and accountability on the part of the Army, citizens advisorycommissions and others. Senior management of the Chemical StockpileDisposal Program and management at each chemical stockpile site shouldbe active and visible participants in the public involvement process. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should institutepolicies and procedures to ensure feedback to the communities detailingthe Army's response to and use of input from the public and otherparties in the decision-making process and program oversight. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization is encouragedto provide independent technical assistance to the citizens advisorycommissions as requested. This assistance should come from individualsor organizations that are without bias and have no conflicts of interestconcerning the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program. [NRC, 1996] Recommendation 2. The public affairs programs for the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program,the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, and otherArmy activities at stockpile locations should be closely coordinatedto avoid adversely affecting public perceptions of the Chemical StockpileDisposal Program and delaying implementation of stockpile destruction.In addition, the public affairs program for the Chemical StockpileDisposal Program should be coordinated with the risk management planat each stockpile site. [NRC, 1996] Recommendation 6. The Army should review and expand the current draft risk managementplan to include public involvement in appropriate areas beyond themanagement of change process. [NRC, 1997] Recommendation 7. The Army should institutionalize the management of change processdeveloped in the Guide [Guide to Risk Management Policy and Activities]. The Army should track performance of the change and document publicinvolvement and public responses to decisions. The Army should usethis experience to improve the change process. [NRC, 1997] Recommendation 10. The Army should continue to increase the involvement of local CitizensAdvisory Commissions (CACs), stakeholder groups, and the public inthe development of future CSDP planning, implementation, and publicoutreach activities (e.g., surveys). The public outreach activitiesshould be integrated with other CSDP activities, and the committeeagain recommends that the public, CACs, and stakeholder groups playearly and meaningful roles in the implementation of significant operationalchanges and in planning for the decontamination and decommissioningof disposal facilities. The integration of the Army's public outreachprogram and the CMP [change management process] should be the firststep in the development

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM of a coordinated, efficient, effective, and meaningful public involvementprogram. Once the criteria are finalized for using the CMP and involvingthe public, the Army should actively expedite implementation of theprocess. [NRC, 1999]. The committee recognizes that the CSDP has made substantial effortsto address these recommendations. This report has the following objectives: to review the Army's progress in developing a public affairs program that serves theneeds of the CSDP and various stakeholders to provide a process model for a successful public affairs programas a means of anticipating future performance requirements to identify opportunities for improving the CSDP public affairsprogram, including clarifying the public role in risk managementdecisions