Impact Area Review Team

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Impact Area Review Team (IART) Ground Rules

  1. Team Membership
  2. Responsibilities of Team Members
  3. Communication among Team Members
  4. Role of Facilitator and Meeting Support Contractors

I. Team Membership

New team members will be recruited, evaluated, and appointed as follows:

  1. The EPA Regional Administrator will approve all new team members.
  2. Citizens who express in an interest in becoming IART members will be encouraged to attend a minimum of two IART meetings before requesting membership so that they recognize the time commitment and nature of the work conducted by the team. These interested citizens will take part as other interested members of the public in IART meetings. As always, the IART will provide an opportunity for non-members to make public comment during the meeting.
  3. The IART has the following responsibilities regarding its membership:
    1. Reviews membership on an ongoing basis and accepts new members' inquiries and applications on an ongoing basis.
    2. Makes a recommendation to the EPA Regional Administrator regarding proposed new members.
    3. Strives to maintain a balance and, as appropriate, may seek out individuals with particular technical expertise.
  4. Agency Representatives
    1. The individuals who represent agencies will be determined by each participating agency and may change from time to time due to staff changes, staff moves, and so forth.

II. Responsibilities of Team Members

Members agree to:

  1. Attend all of the regularly scheduled meetings. Members will notify the facilitator or another team member if they cannot attend.
  2. Arrive at each meeting fully prepared to discuss the issues on the agenda. Preparation will include reviewing meeting summaries, technical information, and drafts of documents distributed in advance of each meeting.
  3. Present their own views and the views of their constituents (where applicable) on the issues being discussed, be willing to engage in respectful, constructive dialogue with other members of the group.
  4. Strive, throughout the process, to bridge gaps in understanding, to seek creative resolution of differences, and to commit to the goal of achieving progress on topics under discussion.
  5. Avoid speaking on behalf of the team as a whole.

Inactive Members

In order to ensure an active membership the IART has developed the following procedures regarding inactive members.

  1. If a member has 3 consecutive absences, they will be placed on an Inactive Members list.
  2. Members will receive a letter from the facilitator notifying them of this change of status.
  3. Inactive members will continue to receive team mailings for 3 more months/ meetings.
  4. Inactive members can reactivate their membership by attending at least one meeting during the inactive period.
  5. After 3 months/meetings on the Inactive Members list, the inactive member will be removed from the team member list and the team will seek to fill the open member position.
  6. A member who may be sick, injured, or is not able to attend meetings for an extended period may inform the facilitator and request to remain on the team.

III. Communication among Team Members

In order to facilitate an open and collaborative discussion, team members will seek to abide by the following rules:

  1. Only one person will speak at a time and no one will interrupt when another person is speaking.
  2. Each person will express his or her own views rather than speaking for others at the table.
  3. No one will make personal attacks. If a personal attack is made, the facilitator will ask the members to refrain from personal attacks. If personal attacks continue, the facilitator will ask the group to take a break to "cool off."
  4. Each person will make every effort to stay on track with the agenda.
  5. Each person will strive to listen well and be open minded.
  6. The IART will provide opportunities for the general public's questions and comments; the team may decide where best to provide these opportunities for the public on the team's meeting agenda.

Members are expected to communicate concerns, interests and ideas openly and to make the reasons for their disagreements clear. In the event that a member is unable to speak about a concern directly to another member, he or she may contact the facilitator. The facilitator will serve as a channel for such concerns. Upon request, all information or views shared during conversations with the facilitator will be kept confidential.

IV. Role of Facilitator and Meeting Support Contractors

The facilitator will:

  1. Assist in formulating the agendas;
  2. Facilitate the meetings;
  3. Ensure adherence to all the ground rules;
  4. Serve as a communication channel for members or observers who wish to express views but do not feel comfortable addressing the full group; and,
  5. Advocate for a fair, effective, and credible process, and remain nonpartisan with respect to the outcome of the deliberations.
  6. Work with the meeting support contractor who will record the meetings, track action items and future agenda items, and distribute draft agendas.
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