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Appendix A NRC Recommendations on Public Involvement Reprintetl from 2000 Report The NRC's Committee on Review and Evaluation of the Army Stockpile Disposal Program (Stockpile Committee) has provided technical advice and counsel to the Army on aspects of chemical stockpile disposal since the beginning of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP) in the mid-1980s. Over the course of the developments within the CSDP in the ensuing years, the importance of communicating with the pub- lic, and where possible, involving interested stakehold- ers in decision making on matters of local concern re- garding the CSDP has been apparent. Indeed, early in the CSDP, Citizen Advisory Commissions (CACs) were established in each of the eight states holding a portion of the chemical stockpile in the continental United States. Members are appointed by the respec- tive governors. Collectively, these commissions serve as a formal mechanism to facilitate communication between local communities and the Army. As the CSDP has evolved and disposal facilities have been constructed and become operational, so too have the Army's efforts in public relations, public out- reach, and public involvement. During this time, the Stockpile Committee has consistently encouraged a commitment by the Army to pursue these efforts, and through its reports it has offered specific findings and recommendations. The most recent NRC report to have been entirely directed to the Army' s public affairs ac- tivities for the CSDP was A Review of the Army's Pub- lic Affairs Efforts in Support of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program, published in 2000 (NRC, 2000~. The recommendations from that report are reprinted below to illustrate the proactive communication rec- 47 ommended in Recommendation 4-2 of the current re- port. Since the publication of the 2000 report, the Army has responded in varying degrees to these recommen- dations. Recommendation 1. The mission and vision state- ments for the Public Outreach and Information Office (POIO) should describe how the role of POIO relates to and supports the mission of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program. The mission and vision statements should differentiate between the roles of public rela- tions, public outreach, and public involvement. CSDP as a whole would benefit by explicitly considering how POIO's effectiveness could be enhanced in conjunc- tion with CSDP' s operations. Recommendation 2. The Public Outreach and Infor- mation Office (POIO) in the Chemical Stockpile Dis- posal Program (CSDP) should establish specific, mea- surable objectives and evaluate its organizational strategy in terms of those objectives. This will require that the Program Manager for Chemical Demilitariza- tion integrate POIO's activities into the overall pro- gram and provide appropriate support from line man- agement. Outcomes should be evaluated in terms of the defined objectives. Recommendation 3. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should reevaluate the level and priority of resource allocations necessary to main- tain support for the Public Outreach and Information Office as scheduled disposal operations are undertaken
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48 at more sites and as the scope of CSDP activities ex- pands. This reevaluation should include monitoring the use and effectiveness of the staff and CSDP's outreach methods, as well as incorporating POIO miscues and accomplishments into the lessons-learned program. Lessons learned from program evaluations should then be reflected in the mission statement, measurable ob- jectives, and resource allocations. Recommendation 4. The Stockpile Committee strongly supports the continued development by the Public Outreach and Information Office (POIO) of well-coordinated strategic and tactical documents for planning and operations, including Tier 3 documents for all sites. The public affairs planning and strategy process, including documents supporting the process as well as the training of employees, should be care- fully monitored and evaluated. POIO's responses to un- anticipated events and the subsequent dissemination of information should be carefully planned, practiced, and evaluated. Findings from evaluations and exercises should be introduced into the lessons-learned process. Recommendation 5a. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should continue to reach out to stakeholders via multiple public relations, public outreach, and public involvement methods, track the success of these methods, and evaluate the information obtained from them. The 1999 CSDP survey of all sites should be followed up with focused information gath- ering to clarify key unresolved issues. Recommendation 5b. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should use a variety of methods in a focused effort to solicit the views, values, and needs of stakeholders on closures and future uses of stockpile disposal sites. Recommendation 5c. The Army should clarify its policy on funding outside experts to assist citizens ad- visory commissions (CACs). To ensure that CACs are credible representatives of the public interest that can be relied upon to monitor PMCD activities, providing technical assistance might be appropriate in certain cir- cumstances. Recommendation 5d. Citizens advisory commissions should be encouraged to identify specific objectives and issues they wish to resolve with the Army. ASSESSMENT OF PROCESSING GELLED GB M55 ROCKETS AT ANNISTON Recommendation 5e. The Web site of the Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should be im- proved and expanded to provide information consis- tent with the objectives of the Public Outreach and In- formation Office. Recommendation 6. The Public Outreach and Infor- mation Office (POIO) should continue to pursue a multidirectional lessons-learned program that includes a tracking system for gathering data from one-way communications and public outreach efforts, surveys, and informal and formal meetings with stakeholders. POIO should also continue to reach out to other gov- ernmental and nongovernmental organizations (such as the American Chemical Council) to explore innovative ideas with analogous programs. Recommendation 7a. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should focus on increasing meaningful public input into the decision-making pro- cess in order to build a cadre of stakeholder leaders who are trusted by the community to monitor the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program. These leaders are likely to include, but are not limited to, local may- ors, health officers or their equivalents, environmental commissioners, journalists, educators, and other local leaders. Recommendation 7b. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should execute memoranda of agreement, as necessary, with other government agencies to create responsible partnerships that clearly define the lines of authority. Because many agencies are involved, many conflicting views will have to be resolved to ensure effective coordination. Recommendation X. The Public Outreach and Infor- mation Office should define its critical role in deci- sions related to site closure and future use in addition to its current role in the disposal of chemical agents and munitions. Its role should be defined in the context of the CSDP's overall strategy for dealing with these Issues. REFERENCE NRC. 2000. A Review of the Army's Public Affairs Efforts in Support of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.