Massachusetts National Guard Environmental and Readiness Center
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Community Involvement Overview

The Massachusetts National Guard created the E&RC in January 2001 to ensure the realistic training of military units in accordance with state and federal environmental requirements. The E&RC has established successful Environmental Fairrelationships with governmental, regulatory, and community groups to reachits primary objective of training in concert with the environment. The E&RC informs, educates, and involves all JBCC stakeholders on issues regarding training and the environment. Furthermore, the E&RC seeks to be a source of information for the community and a trusted partner in the protection of the northern training areas of the JBCC.

Community Involvement Roles and Responsibilities

The E&RC serves as the public's link for information about the JBCC regarding training and the environment. The E&RC community involvement team:

  • Facilitates the flow of information to ensure prompt and accurate response to stakeholder inquiries
  • Coordinates with other programs and commands to ensure frequent and open communication with all JBCC communities
  • Educates and informs stakeholders about Massachusetts National Guard training and environmental programs
  • Ensures prompt, adequate, and accurate notifications about situations posing immediate threat to human health or the environment or affecting base operations

Stakeholders

Individuals, groups, and organizations interested in JBCC activities are called stakeholders. The E&RC's community involvement team ensures JBCC stakeholders are informed and involved on a continual basis. Stakeholder groups include:

  • Elected Officials
  • Local and Tribal Governments
  • Military
  • Media
  • Regulators
  • JBCC Tenants
  • Neighbors
  • Special Interest Groups

Advisory Groups

Advisory groups have always played an important role in community involvement and environmental issues at the JBCC. Advisory councils are groups comprised of various members either representing a group, such the Association to Protect Cape Cod, a town, such as a selectmen, or a member at large, any community member with an interest and desire be involved.

These groups meet regularly to discuss JBCC environmental issues that could have an impact on the community surrounding the base. Please refer to the Community Advisory Group section of the web site for information on each of the JBCC Related community groups.

Issues - Key Community Concerns

The E&RC works with all stakeholders to understand their issues and concerns regarding training and the environment on the JBCC. Through one-on-one meetings, advisory council meetings, public meetings, and surveys/questionnaires, the E&RC seeks to establish two-way communication with community groups. Key issues already identified include:

  • Water quality/supply
  • Training and readiness
  • Natural resources
  • Environmental compliance (regulatory)
  • Cultural resources including preservation archaeological sites, historic buildings and structures, historic objects and archival data, and Native American sacred sites and properties of traditional, religious, and cultural significance
  • Development
  • Access to infrastructure and services
  • Coordination of programs/activities
  • Community impacts (human health, infrastructure, and economy)

Scope of E&RC Activities

The E&RC community involvement team implements program objectives in the following ways:

Public Meetings - The Environmental Management Commission, the Community Advisory Council, the Science Advisory Council, and the Senior Management Board provide valuable recommendations, advice, and guidance to the E&RC regarding ways to better accomplish its mission as environmental stewards while ensuring the best training possible for National Guard soldiers. Public meetings held by the various advisory councils offer a forum to inform council members and the public about E&RC activities through presentations, discussions, and question and answer sessions.

Selectmen Update - The E&RC community involvement team coordinates with the JBCC commands and environmental programs to update the Boards of Selectmen of the four Upper Cape towns annually to detail happenings at the JBCC, allowing the selectmen to be continually informed about issues concerning the environment and training activities at JBCC.

Cape Delegation Update - Similar to the Selectmen Update, the E&RC coordinates an annual Cape Delegation JBCC briefing.

Boards of Health Update - The E&RC coordinates with the JBCC environmental and cleanup programs to arrange an annual JBCC briefing for the Boards of Health of the four Upper Cape Towns.

Water Coop Update - The E&RC coordinatesan annual Water Coop JBCC briefing.

Local Realtor Group Update - The E&RC coordinates annual JBCC briefings for the local realtor groups in each of the four Upper Cape Towns.

One-on-one Discussions - Used to further two-way communication, one-on-one discussions provide a pivotal communication resource between the E&RC and JBCC stakeholders. Interviews allow for a sharing of information, ideas, insight, and concerns. Information gained during these discussions can be used by the E&RC to form a better understanding of the community's perspective on issues concerning the JBCC and how to best address the concerns of its stakeholders. This information will also allow the community outreach team to function as a conduit for the community, ensuring their voice is heard internally at the JBCC.

Public Notices

News Releases - The community involvement team uses mass media outlets to inform JBCC stakeholders and the general public. News releases highlight activities, issues, and announce successes at the JBCC. News releases play an important role during E&RC notification protocols to deliver information to the general public in a timely and wide-reaching manner.

Newspaper Advertisements - Newspaper ads serve as a vehicle to regularly highlight upcoming events, documents released by the E&RC to the Information Repository, information about the E&RC and its programs, or news items on the E&RC's web site.

Telephone 'Tree' - The E&RC team uses "telephone trees" during notification protocols to quickly relay important information internally and externally when situations occur at JBCC that pose an immediate threat to human health or the environment or affect base operations or the community. E-mail trees will be used as secondary sources of communication to deliver follow-up information during these situations.

Publications

Calendar - The calendar lists monthly public meetings associated with the environmental programs at the JBCC. The calendar is distributed to the JBCC mailing list monthly and is also published here on our E&RC website.

JBCC Quick Guide - The JBCC Quick guide highlights the military commands, Environmental Fairenvironmental programs, and federal and state programs located at the JBCC.

Fact Sheets - Community involvement professionals regularly produce facts sheets containing detailed information about E&RC natural resource, environmental compliance, and cultural resources programs, training activities, planning, and other issues regarding the JBCC and its stakeholders. The E&RC distributes fact sheets to JBCC visitors and at public meetings, open houses, community workshops, and other events.

Web Site - The web site, www.EandRC.org, is a tool used to inform the public about the E&RC's mission, its programs and staff, and up-coming events. The site includes a publication library for visitors to download documents, as well as links to other JBCC programs and sites of interest.

Events

The community involvement team will use special events to inform the public about base activities and interact with community members. Specials events may include:

  • Environmental Fair - Environmental Fairs are held for local middle school students offering presentations and interactive activities designed to inform students about environmental protection and clean up activities conducted at the base.
  • Site Tours - The E&RC arranges tours for the general public. Attendees tour the base and learn about the military mission and environmental programs first hand.
  • Field Trips - The E&RC arranges field trips upon requests from various groups to include schools, veterans' groups, colleges and universities, and environmental groups. to name a few. The field trips are tailored to fit the areas of interest of the group.
Speaker's Bureau - The speaker's bureau informs groups about E&RC programs in addition to issues and concerns affecting the JBCC. Speakers include technical and program experts available to talk at meetings or events.




Internal Meetings - The community involvement team attends internal meetings held by various programs and commands at the base to gain an overall understanding of current activities at the JBCC. This knowledge allows the E&RC staff to better facilitate information requests by directing questions to the appropriate information source in a timely fashion.


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