Superfund Community Relations Program
The Superfund Community Relations Program promotes two-way communication between members of the public, including potentially responsible parties (PRP's), and the lead government agency in charge of response actions. The community relations activities provide for interested persons to comment on, and provide input to, decisions about response actions. These activities promote public participation in the decision-making process by ensuring that the local public is provided with accurate and timely information about response plans and progress, and that their concerns about planned actions are heard by the lead agency. A site-specific and well planned community relations effort is an integral part of every Superfund response.
The Superfund community relations program consists of activities conducted through the planning and implementation of Superfund responses to encourage communication between government staff and the local public as well as the planning, coordination, and administration of such activities. The overall objectives of Superfund community relations are to:
- Provide the public the opportunity to express comments on and provide input to technical decisions. An ongoing community relations effort encourages and helps local citizens contribute to Agency decisions that will have long-term effects on their community.
- Inform the public of planned or ongoing actions. Community relations activities inform the local public of the nature of the environmental problem, the threat it may pose, the responses under consideration, and the progress being made.
- Identify and resolve conflict. Conflict may be unavoidable in some circumstances, but it can be constructive, if it brings alternative viewpoints based upon sound, factual reasons into the open. An effective community relations effort channels conflict into a forum where it can serve a useful purpose.
The program objectives guide the planning and implementation of community relations efforts in each Superfund response.