(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
Mason & Hanger Corporation, Pantex Plant - Amarillo, TX
Mason & Hanger - Pantex has taken a proactive approach to fulfilling its Sitewide Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) responsibilities by making information available to the public that is understandable, timely, and accurate. With a "They're Not Going to Come to You" attitude, Pantex has combined electronic and print media, public information sessions speaker bureau activities, employee public speaking and medi9a training, and media seminars to form a comprehensive program delivering the Pantex EIS message.
Pantex began this effort by preparing and implementing a Stake holder Involvement Plan. The EIS stakeholders were identified as government (federal, state and local entities), the media, adversary groups, community leaders, the educational community (students and teachers), and the general public. The Stakeholder Involvement Plan represented the initial step in activities designed to maximize public involvement in EIS. Pantex contacted landowners, interest groups, and state, and local officials to apprize them of the EIS process and to publish a schedule of planned activities. Activities i8ncluded establishing a 24-hour EIS information hotline to handle information and speaker request. This step was followed by distributing brochures and a quarterly EIS newsletter. Pantex EIS team members appeared on radio and television talk shows, and they produced a video used at public meeting s and speaker bureau events. This video was made available to Pantex employees and interested stakeholders.
An information Fair was held in anticipation of the May 1995 DOE public (Scoping) meeting. The Fair provided exhibits and presentations on EIS topics such as radiation safety, groundwater and overflight issues, as well as opportunities for citizens to talk with Pantex technical staff about their EIS concerns and questions. Pantex found the Fair to be so successful and well received that it was repeated the following year and is now slated to be an annual event.
Following the Scoping meeting, Pantex continued its outreach and awareness activities through additional activities including:
- a Cultural Resources Program to foster involvement of interested Native American tribes,
- a downtown Pantex Information Office to provide information to city residents,
- a children's video, coupled with Pantex EIS team presentations to public, private, and home school audiences,
- an essay contest for students to write about "What I
Learned at the Pantex Information Fair", (winners received a monetary prize and special plant tour),
- a multimedia, touch screen kiosk information center about Pantex and EIS available to the public in high schools, malls, post offices and libraries, and a Pantex EIS Internet HomePage.
All of these Pantex EIS activities demonstrate the aggressive and encompassing approach to meeting the company's National Environmental Protection Act responsibilities. Positive indicators of Pantex EIS success include its nomination in 1995 to receive the Secretary's Award, and an invitation to discuss the entire National Environmental Protection Act process at the Spectrum '96 International Meeting in which the program will be featured as a seminar.