For this activity, you will return to your role as the project manager for siting the Nebo-Baskins Road Interconnect transmission line and complete Phase 2 of your term project, "Addressing Negative Public Comments". You have just received a memo from the Vice President of Transmission and Distribution (T&D) for your company that describes some negative public comments he has received. He wants your help in addressing these. As you complete this activity, be sure to consider the principles of public participation that you learned in Lesson 4.
Transource Energy takes 24 Franklin County property owners to court
As you prepare the public participation plan for your term project, take a look at this 3:13-minute video of how a utility provider addressed the public participation aspect of the siting project. You can read more about it on USA Today's Public Opinion Website.
For this assignment, you will need to record your work in a Word document using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Your work must be submitted in Word (.doc) format so I can open it.
MEMO TO: Project Manager
FROM: R. Santini, VP T&D
SUBJECT: Public Participation Concerns
This week, I have received three protest letters (see attached) condemning the siting and proposed construction of the transmission line through the Nebo Valley. These three letters address aesthetics, public health concerns, the taking of private lands, destruction of environmental resources, etc. I anticipated some opposition to the line, and after reviewing company policy on public participation, I realized our plan for engaging the public is inadequate. As the project manager, I am asking that you address not only the letters, but also devise a plan to engage the public in the siting process.
By the end of this week, I need you to:
- PROTEST LETTERS: As the project manager, develop a written response to each of the protest letters. Each response should be a professionally written response....what a company would send in response to these protest letters. Be as creative as possible. The three letters should be prepared in draft form so I can review and comment on them. Links to the three letters are below.
- INTERNAL PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT DOCUMENT: Develop an internal document, as part of the overall siting document, on how to engage the public in the siting process. This document should be prepared for review by the oversight committee. Use the information you acquired from Lesson 4, and the three documents referenced below to develop your plan to be presented to the oversight committee. You need to include, at a minimum, how the public will be contacted, how they will be involved, how the public participation activities will be advertised, how public feedback will be processed, where and how the public can review and provide additional comments, and review Frequently Asked Questions. You are the project manager and your professional reputation is on the line here, so put forth your best effort!
- PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN: Develop a plan and a professional-looking brochure to be shared with the public. It should include information about how the public can participate in local meetings about the plan. Include Internet research in your plan to determine how other utilities address this issue. You are looking for anything from using one- or two-page flyers, to complete public participation plans. Here are some references to get you started:
- SRP Public Involvement
- Kentucky Guide to Public Participation
- Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) Public Involvement Overview (PDF)
This plan should be a final information plan for internal review and a professional-looking brochure available for the public. It should contain, at a minimum, where the project is proposed, why it is needed, a map showing the proposed routes, places, dates and times for public meetings, and where the public can find updated information, such as company websites, etc.
Remember….First impressions will weigh heavily on public opinion. If you put little thought and effort into your plan, don’t expect it to be received well by the committee or the public and don’t expect it to be successful…….project delays can result in millions of additional dollars being allocated to addressing questions and concerns due to poorly developed plans.
If you have any questions, please contact me immediately.
Submitting Your Work
Please submit your work to the Lesson 10 - Addressing Negative Public Comments drop box no later than Sunday at midnight of Lesson 10 (see our course calendar for specific due date). Use the following naming conventions:
Lesson10_ProtestLetters_AccessAccountID_LastName.doc (or .pdf)
Lesson10_PublicEngagement_AccessAccountID_LastName.doc (or .pdf)
Lesson10_ParticipationPlan_AccessAccountID_LastName.doc (or .pdf)
I will grade your work using the Public Participation Plan Rubric.