Hold a Series of Community Advisory Task Group Workshops

As the next step in the ongoing outreach and dialogue process, several community workshops were designed to build on the research results. These facilitated mental models-based deliberative dialogue sessions were held in the late summer and fall of 2008 with local residents. The purpose was to provide an overview of CPC’s proposed project and elicit input from community members.

Detailed expert model of individuals’ judgments on the acceptability of IGCC with carbon capture & storage

Fig. 11.2 Detailed expert model of individuals’ judgments on the acceptability of IGCC with carbon capture & storage

The purpose of the workshops was to build on the mental models research findings and elicit thoughts and recommendations from community members on how CPC could best design and conduct effective community outreach on the proposed project. CPC invited approximately 30 key community members to attend full-day workshops.

At the facilitated workshops, CPC presented background information on the IGCC and CCS technologies being considered for the project along with an overview of the development and regulatory processes.

Through the process of a deliberative dialogue, participants worked through tough choices to explore the areas of common ground from which alternatives could be developed. Deliberation is a way of discussing important issues and wrestling with tough choices. It enables participants to share their reasoning on issues, talk together, and ultimately work through choices to solutions. In a deliberation everybody has a say and everybody listens. Participants explore what others think, as well as their own beliefs. They don’t have to come to conclusions. But they do weigh the consequences of various options based on what is truly valuable to them, and to others.

At the workshops the community members provided the CPC Team with constructive coaching on how to conduct effective communication with the community on the new technologies and on how they wanted to be engaged. There was general support for IGCC CCS, though qualified. Although there were still many questions that needed to be addressed, there was a general openness to these technologies and a desire to learn more through ongoing communications. IGCC was seen to be better than existing technology and community members suggested the new technology should replace existing coal-fired generation plants in the area. For most participants, global climate change was off the radar as—their focus was on improving the local environment, particularly reducing air emissions. Another significant theme was the perceived fairness regarding the distribution of benefits and bur- dens—the people in the community live with the power plants, and others in the province and beyond, get the power. It was determined that working with community members to determine appropriate “offsets” for the surrounding community members would be critical going forward. Community members also acknowledged CPC’s efforts over the past few years to increase and improve outreach efforts. The appreciated the company engaging them in the process at such an early stage.

The results of the community workshops were reported back to the community through a series of newsletters and they were posted on the project website.

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