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May 22, 2024
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Other U.S. Government
Planning for Powerful Public Participation
Intermediate Level Training
Hosted by U.S. EPA, Community Involvement and Program Initiatives Branch
Community Involvement University (CIU)

What is the course overview?
Building on Elements of Powerful Public Participation, this course leads participants through a detailed understanding of how to plan for effective public participation under the Superfund program. Planning for effective public participation under these difficult conditions requires significant effort. The success and failure of public participation is largely determined in the level and appropriateness of the effort in planning.

Who should take this course?
This course is recommended for EPA staff or managers (e.g., CIC’s, RPM’s, OSC’s) who are instrumental to the planning and implementation of public participation programs and events. The Elements of Powerful Public Participation is a recommended prerequisite.

What are the course learning objectives?
Participants who complete this course will gain skills on how to:

  • Prepare for planning and engaging the public;
  • Identify stakeholders and stakeholder interests;
  • Understand the importance of convening balanced and representative stakeholders;
  • Incorporate public participation activities into the decision process;
  • Select the appropriate level of public participation;
  • Establish clear goals and objectives;
  • Identify appropriate tools and techniques to match public participation goals;
  • Identify and budget for necessary resources; and
  • Understand the importance of evaluation.

What are the logistics?
This two-day course is a highly interactive mix of facilitated discussion, video, and small and larger group discussion. The course is designed to allow Regions to customize the course to their intended staff and needs and allows groups to work together on planning current projects, programs, and activities. Recommended course size is 12-30 participants.

Doug Sarno of The Participation Company (TPC) teaches this course. He developed the course and is a civil engineer with more than 30 years of experience in Superfund and environmental cleanup. He has devoted much of his career to improving environmental decision-making and effectively engaging diverse groups of stakeholders in complex and controversial decisions.

TPC offers a wide range of courses on public participation, collaboration, communication, conflict resolution and facilitation tailored specifically to EPA and the Superfund program. These courses are designed as stand-alone events or combined in many configurations to create a customized program of instruction for groups or teams. All training is highly interactive and includes a wide variety of real-life lessons. Focus is on providing real, practical skills that EPA program managers, communicators and community relations professionals will apply immediately.

Is there available background material?

  • Participants receive a detailed course workbook.
For general information contact Tina Conley by telephone at 703-603-0696 or via e-mail at

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