Importance of Public Consultationby Michael D. Hefner, Energy Leaders Inc, Boise, ID, USA,
Abstract: Early consultation with governmental resource agencies as well as private environmental groups can mean the difference between early resolution of conflicts between developers and environmentalists and long drawn out confrontation and litigation. Every project has some impact on the environment. The key is to identify possible impacts early, get agreement from agencies on these impacts and then design a program to study the affected area and assess actual impacts. Once this is done, assuming the project is fundamentally sound, enhancement, mitigation and compensation can be proposed. Given the fact that agency dollars are limited, the developer can many times offer to improve existing conditions as part of the project costs. Lessons learned are illustrated by experiences from three projects the author worked on.
Subject Headings: Consulting services | Environmental issues | Hydro power | Private sector | Litigation | Agreements and treaties
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