The CPRC provides environmental collaboration and conflict resolution services for EPA headquarters, Regional, and field offices. Services are provided by independent neutral professional mediators and facilitators engaged through the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Services Contract as well as by CPRC staff, who are trained conflict resolution specialists. The following is a list of some of our services, which can be tailored to meet the specific needs of an EPA office.
Consultation and Coaching
The CPRC can advise EPA offices on whether engaging a neutral third-party facilitator or mediator might enhance the success of their projects. CPRC staff are also available to coach EPA staff on how to prepare for, design, and engage effectively in ADR processes, and can also guide staff on how to more effectively prevent and resolve conflict when they work directly with other parties. In addition, the CPRC provides legal counsel regarding matters arising under the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996.
A situation assessment is often the first step in designing a public involvement or ADR process. In this process, a neutral third party maps out the sources of differences or conflict, the parties who must be involved in order to resolve or participate in a decision or discussion, and the timeframe and resources needed to conduct a well-designed and managed collaboration or conflict resolution process.
Convening involves the use of a third-party neutral to help parties determine whether and how to proceed with a neutral-assisted process. The convener assists parties in determining whether necessary parties are willing to participate, identifying issues for discussion, selecting the neutral, and designing the appropriate process.
Facilitation is a process used to help a group of people have constructive discussions about complex or potentially controversial issues. EPA uses facilitation services in agreement and non-agreement seeking processes such as regulatory negotiations, policy dialogues, federal advisory committees, and other long-term consultative processes.
Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party (the mediator) assists disputants in reaching a mutual settlement of their differences. Mediation is voluntary, informal, and confidential. It promotes innovative solutions, cooperation among the parties, and shared responsibility for the result. EPA uses mediation in a wide variety of matters, such as Superfund cost allocation cases, Civil Rights Act Title VI cases, and settlement of administrative and judicial cases such as enforcement actions and permit appeals.
The CPRC training program (PDF)(3 pp, 127 K, About PDF) is designed to build the capacity of EPA managers and staff to successfully engage in collaborative processes to prevent or resolve environmental conflict. These hands-on, interactive courses range from a few hours to 1.5 days. While some courses are offered agency-wide a few times a year, all courses are offered upon request in HQ and regional offices, and they can be tailored to fit the participants’ needs.