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Guidelines for WRAP Forums

PURPOSE OF FORUMS

Forums are a major tool used by the Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP) to carry out its purpose. The purpose of the WRAP is to promote and monitor the implementation of the recommendations resulting from the Grand Canyon Visibility Transport Commission and, with the concurrence of its members, engage in other common regional air quality issues. Many of the Commission's recommendations require additional data or stakeholder discussion before they can be implemented. Forums are the major tool for stakeholder participation, gathering and reviewing data, and the development of detailed implementation tactics and action plans.

FORUM MEMBERSHIP

WRAP by-laws direct that forums should consist of principals from the following categories:

  • Industry (focused on production sector but excluding the mobile source sector)
  • Small business (focused on the service sector, including "green industry")
  • Mobile sources (including vehicle manufactures and transportation planners)
  • Federal government
  • Tribal government
  • State government
  • Local government
  • Academia
  • Environmental groups
  • General public

In all cases it may not be possible or appropriate to include each of the categories in stakeholder processes. However, whenever a category is not included, an explanation for the exclusion should be recorded. Forums are encouraged to have balanced geographic representation from throughout the WRAP area and contain diverse perspectives.

Forums are to contain 10-12 members.

HOW FORUMS ARE CREATED

The TOC and IOC have the responsibility of identifying issues to be addressed by their respective forums based on input, priorities and directions from the WRAP. The TOC and IOC will identify co-chairs for each forum. In consultation with respective co-chairs, the TOC or IOC will provide written objectives and expectations for each forum. Forums will be formed on an ad hoc basis and will conclude upon completion of the work as defined by the TOC or IOC. The Interim Work Plan adopted by the WRAP on September 30, 1997, called for the establishment of forums To implement the Grand Canyon Visibility Transport Commission and for the establishment of a Research and Development forum.

HOW FORUM MEMBERSHIP IS DETERMINED

The TOC and IOC appoint co-chairs for the respective forums they create. The co-chairs are then responsible for appointing committee members following WRAP guidelines. The co-chairs will develop a draft list of forum members for review by the IOC or TOC, as appropriate, to verify the membership conforms to WRAP guidelines. In addition, the WRAP reserves the right to review forum membership.

FORUM RESPONSIBILITIES

In consultation with forum co-chairs, the TOC and IOC will provide a written charter which includes the objectives and process requirements for the respective forums they create.

Based on this charter, forums are then charged with creating detailed work plans for achieving these objectives. The work plan will include a schedule for progress reports and project completion. Forum members will determine their schedule of meetings and meeting locations. It is expected that some forums will complete their tasks within a matter of months and some will require more time.

Forums are responsible for translating technical materials into a form understandable by the general public and to appoint a liaison to the WRAP's Communications Committee.

FORUM PROCESSES

Forums are to conduct their business on a consensus basis. Consensus has the following parameters:

  • Consensus is agreement.
  • Consensus is selection of an option that everyone can live with.
  • Consensus may not result in the selection of anyone's first choice, but everyone is willing to support the choice.
  • Consensus is not a majority vote.

When a forum cannot reach a consensus on an issue it will be referred to the creating oversight committee (TOC or IOC). If the oversight committee cannot reach a consensus on the issue it will be referred to the WRAP for resolution.

Forum members are expected to represent the views of all stakeholders within their constituencies and are expected to communicate regularly with these stakeholders. Even if a member does not necessarily agree with the position of an associated stakeholder who is not a member, the forum member has a responsibility to raise this position to the other forum members during debate and discussion.

Forums are expected to communicate with the general public and are encouraged to hold public workshops as a tool to solicit public input.

All meetings shall be open to the public, and should include an opportunity for those members of the public who are observing the meeting to comment on or provide suggestions relevant to the committee's work. The chairs and forum members should use their discretion, but may restrict non-members' comments to specific time periods as necessary to ensure the forum discussions are not disrupted and to ensure the integrity of the forum process. Agendas should clearly indicate how and when the meeting will provide the opportunity for public discussion

Broad-based and open input and discussion is a critical factor to the success of this and all forums. Each forum must establish processes to ensure that affected groups can provide input, either as members of the forum or during specific times set aside for public input. Such times may vary depending on the circumstances under discussion. A few possibilities include:

  1. setting aside time during the meeting to take comments from the public;
  2. setting up specific meetings, perhaps immediately before or after a forum meeting, to discuss specific topics with a broader group; and
  3. assigning specific forum members the responsibility of coordinating with specific individuals or groups who are not forum members.

All meetings shall be open to the public, and should include an opportunity for those members of the public who are observing the meeting to comment on or provide suggestions relevant to the committee's work.

When a forum takes a matter to the WRAP, the forum shall appoint members to participate in the WRAP's discussion of the matter.

SUPPORT FOR FORUMS

An initial orientation session will be provided for each forum by the TOC or IOC for the purpose of providing background information, an opportunity to discuss the forum's charge and to cover administrative issues.

Forums may staff themselves, be staffed by trade groups, consultants, professional organizations, etc., as resources allow. The TOC and IOC will assist forums in identifying necessary resources.

Consistent with the WRAP Travel Policy, all or partial reimbursement for travel and lodging will be available for qualifying forum members. Each forum will distribute this policy to forum members. In general, state and tribal members will be eligible for 100% reimbursement of travel and lodging, non-profit and local government 75% and individuals from "disinterested" organizations 50%. Federal agency personnel and private sector representatives are not eligible for travel reimbursement.

Forums are encouraged to make use of conference calls, e-mail and other technological tools to minimize travel.

 
 
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