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ECR Annual Report for 2007

On November 28, 2005, the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) jointly signed a
Memorandum on Environmental Conflict Resolution (ECR Memorandum) directing
Federal agencies to seek to increase the effective use of ECR and collaborative problem
solving (see Appendix A). The direction given to Federal agencies in this memorandum
complements and furthers Department of Energy (DOE) practices and strategies that have
been used consistently for many years.
This report constitutes the Department’s second annual progress report to CEQ and
OMB, as directed by section 4.(g) of the ECR Memorandum. In accordance with
guidance provided by CEQ and OMB, this report includes information through fiscal
year (FY) 2007 about DOE progress in implementing the ECR Memorandum.
Section 2 of the ECR Memorandum defines ECR as “third-party assisted conflict
resolution and collaborative problem solving in the context of environmental, public
lands, or natural resources issues or conflicts, including matters relating to energy,
transportation, and land use.” The ECR Memorandum also recognizes that there are a
broad array of partnerships, cooperative arrangements and unassisted negotiations used
by Federal agencies to manage and implement their programs. For purposes of preparing
this report, DOE has adopted this broader view of ECR and defines ECR to include all
types of collaborative problem solving processes used to prevent or resolve an
environmental conflict regardless of whether a third party is used. The information in
this report includes examples where a third party has been used. This report also includes
examples of other collaborative processes that do not involve use of a third party but
which also have been effective in resolving or preventing an environmental conflict, such
as the use of regular meetings with environmental regulators and the use of various
committees and boards designed to engage stakeholders in the early stages of decisionmaking
processes.