Assessing Community Advisory Panels

Assessing Community Advisory Panels

Gwen Ottinger
Studies in Sustainability
2008, Chemical Heritage Foundation
26 pp
Softcover, 8.5 x 11, Product #1525690016

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Community advisory panels, or CAPs, are a central feature of the U.S. chemical industry’s public outreach efforts. CAPs have fostered dialogue between chemical facilities and neighboring communities nationwide; however, they are also frequently criticized for being merely public-relations vehicles for the chemical industry.

This paper investigates the performance of CAPs and highlights potential sources of public discontent with the dialogues. Drawing on observations of CAP meetings in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, in the heart of the state’s Mississippi River Industrial Corridor, the paper assesses CAP performance with respect to four key goals: building relationships between chemical facilities and nearby communities, educating residents about plant operations, informing facility managers about community concerns, and facilitating improvements in environmental performance.

About Studies in Sustainability

The Studies in Sustainability series serves as a forum for discussion about the unique challenges and opportunities that exist in transforming chemistry into a tool for sustainability. The series, which highlights the intersecting roles played by emerging science, innovation, regulation, standards, and civil action, aims to publish dynamic new research examining the links between chemistry, sustainability, and pressing environmental and human health concerns.


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