Community / Public
Public Information Materials
What is the best way to explain the concept of "risk" to the people in an agricultural community near Vancouver, British Columbia who are considering a resource recovery facility?
Konheim & Ketcham maintains that informed citizen participation in planning and reviewing proposals can lessen public mistrust and result in better projects.
This principle grows out of years of environmental advocacy by the firm's principals and from our experience in the development of more than 25 of some of the most contested types of projects--facilities that burn municipal and medical waste.
In such projects, Konheim & Ketcham has represented facility developers, municipal and county governments and citizens advisory committees. The common element of all our work is objective, technically correct, understandable information that is genuinely responsive to public concerns.
The firm advises project sponsors about methods of site selection, and informing and involving the public during the planning and permitting process. We provide support services to citizens' oversight groups, prepare newsletters and other materials, organize meetings with community groups and individual leaders, produce audio-visual materials, and make presentations. The credibility of these efforts is enhanced by the firm's familiarity with the technical basis of the issues under discussion.
Communicating the significance of the potential risk of an action is a special expertise, born out of managing, participating in or critiquing numerous health risk assessments. We emphasize approaches to make the process more meaningful to decision makers who must act on the results.
The firm's president, Carolyn Konheim, has presented papers on this subject at several national and international forums and has published widely on the need for effective public involvement.
Frequently, we use our experience and current knowledge of the technical aspects of the issues at hand to assist local public affairs firms in carrying out programs. The central consideration is that public outreach is an important aspect of successful projects.