Environmental Assessment Standard Supports Stakeholder Engagement
ASTM International’s environmental assessment, risk management and corrective action committee (E50) has approved a new standard for stakeholder engagement on environmental risk management and climate. The environmental risk management subcommittee (E50.05) developed the standard, which will soon be published as E3356.
The task group that developed the new standard includes members from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state regulatory agencies, academia, environmental professionals, as well as environmental attorneys with decades of public-sector and private-sector experience.
The new standard blends international and US stakeholder engagement guidance and policies into best practices that can be applied to a broad spectrum of projects and initiatives. These include site remediation, brownfields development, alternative energy siting and development, infrastructure improvement, climate adaptation and mitigation, and natural resource management.
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E3356 provides the user guidance on several key areas, including:
- identification and effective engagement of underserved populations and disadvantaged communities;
- strategies for establishing and maintaining dialogs with critical stakeholders;
- checklists and process flow diagrams to ensure effective stakeholder engagement;
- recommended practices to empower stakeholders; and
- corrective actions to use if the stakeholder engagement process seems to be losing its effectiveness.
Potential users of the standard include natural resource trustees, federal, state, local, and tribal governments, power production and transmission companies, ports, non-governmental organizations, mining interests, regional transportation agencies, and developers of non-traditional energy sources.
The subcommittee plans on developing a webinar on E3356, with an expected launch date of March 2023.
This effort directly relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #13 on climate action.