Re: Who is using this Newsgroup?
16 Oct 1997 14:13:53

From: Nick Morgan <>

Greetings -
I am Nick Morgan and work as an environmental consultant in the San
Francisco area. As a Commissioner for the City of Berkeley Community
Environmental Advisory Commission, I have been asked to monitor the progress
of a brownfields initiative in an adjoining city. Accordingly, I serve as a
member of Ignacio Dayrit's City of Emeryville Brownfields Pilot Project.

>From my recent introduction to this issue, I have noticed that this a
complex issue with no right answers. Citizens seek comprehensive
environmental protection (often at any cost), developers have strong
financial concerns, state regulators have a host of
laws-regulations-policies that have to fulfilled in light of their political
obligations, and local communities serve as the host to all the above
stakeholders (pro-cleanup-at-any-cost, pro-development-at-any-cost,
pro-regulatory-check-off-at-any-cost) and many others. Of course, these are
rather crude and inaccurate stereotypes, but there is some participanst in
each community process who refelct these agenda's.

As a citizen, consultant, former regulator, and former paid activist, I have
observed how lack of information and lack of cogent process can bog down
reasonable projects. My interest in this conference, and in the brownfields
initiative as a whole, is to learn how we can work to move cleanups and
development forward in the most efficient way possible, without compromising
any party's objectives. If we can find cooperative solutions in this field,
perhaps we can apply the lessons to other fields, such as the forestry
debate, or the field of military toxics. As someone who has been involved
with military cleanups for over a decade, I have seen that setting up
advisory boards for community input is not in itself sufficient for engaging
community members and gaining their support. It is as much how one runs
these boards that dictates where a community input process will work.

I am hopeful that here in the brownfields program, there will be the
opportunity to learn from the military cleanup and conversion program -
perhaps the nation's largest existing brownfields program - and build even
more successful stakeholder engagement program.

Nick Morgan
Morgan & Associates
1415 McGee Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94703