Paducah Public End State Vision Project
Addressing the Challenges of Increasing Public Participation in PGDP's Future
The "Public End State" project focused on engaging the public in a participatory process to identifyand assess community preferences for the future use of the PGDP site, given the site's pending closure as a Gaseous Diffusion Plant. In order to support informed decision making about future use of the PGDP an extensive collection of site-specific information was compiled, presented at public meetings, and made available to participants on the Project website http://www.paducahvision.com. Project activities including meeting proceedings, assessment of feedback received from participants, and project recommendations are summarized in the project final report, Community Visions for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site.
The KRCEE project was designed to maximize citizen engagement, as characterized by the "Ladder of Citizen Participation." The Ladder considers different levels of public participation that have been observed in policy and infrastructure decision making processes. The three broad levels are Non- Participation, Tokenism, and Citizen Power. The public participants judged historical Paducah site public engagement activities between "Informing" and "Placation," on the Ladder of Citizen Participation which are within the broader "Tokenism" range.
The Project approach integrated Community-Based Participatory Communication (CBPC) methods, which use interviews, focus groups, and projective techniques to identify and interact with various community groups. The project also used Structure Public Involvement (SPI) to encourage each participant at public meetings to provide their personal inputs and to prevent co-optation of the public meeting process by any single interest group. This involved anonymous keypad "voting" on possible future use scenarios of the Paducah site.Public participation included:
- Interviews of 80 community leaders from 44 specific organizations and interest groups to develop a pilot test group composed of representatives from 16 stakeholder "clusters" (e.g., Education, Media, USEC Employees, Neighbors, Recreation Enthusiasts, CAB Members, DOE/Contractor Employees, etc.)
- Meetings with 64 people grouped into eight stake-holder focus groups.
- Two Community Information
Meetings used to educate the audience members about the
- Three Community Scenario Meetings at which audience members voted on 12 future use scenarios. (128 responses)
- Development of a project website through which the public could vote on 12 future use scenarios. (713 distinct IP address hits; 97 responses)
Each of the 12 future use scenarios addressed a range of options for the disposal of legacy (i.e., burial ground) and D&D wastes and considered
- shipping all future plant decommissioning waste offsite, keeping part of the decommissioning waste onsite, or keeping all decommissioning waste onsite
- excavating all of the legacy waste burial grounds or only excavating part of the legacy waste burial grounds
- Industrial land uses are more preferred than non-industrial land uses. There is a polarization in the public with some stakeholder groups strongly preferring industrial use and strongly opposed to non-industrial use, and some stakeholder groups strongly preferring non-industrial use and strongly opposed to industrial use. Preferences are impacted slightly by disposition of wastes.
- Respondents favor removal of all of the burial grounds (i.e., legacy) waste.
- The majority of the respondents (at least as characterized by the mean of their scores) prefer the removal of both legacy and D&D wastes from the site. However, if legacy waste is to be left on- site, the preference is to manage the waste in a "storage cell."
The Public End State Project "Paducahvision" Website provides extensive site history, site process, site environmental impacts, public interaction, and regulatory process information. Site visitors can view video animations for the 12 future use scenarios and complete the on-line future use survey.
The website can be directly accessed via http://www.paducahvision.com
Project Kickoff Briefing to PGDP CAB.
PES Kickoff CAB Meeting 052109.ppt
Public End State Project Final Report
Community Visions for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site.
Dr. Lindell Ormsbee, UK-Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute, (principal
Dr. Chike Anyaegbunam, UK-College of Communications, (co-principal investigator for Community- Based Participatory Communication).
Dr. Ted Grossardt, UK-Kentucky Transportation Center, (co-principal investigator for Structured Public
Dr. Keiron Bailey, University of Arizona, (Casewise Visual Evaluation).
Ben Blandford, UK-Kentucky Transportation Center, (Structured Public Involvement technical support).
John R. Ripy, Jr., UK-Kentucky Transportation Center,
(Structured Public Involvement technical
Chas Hartman, UK-College of Communications, (transcription and preliminary data analysis).
Anna Goodman Hoover, UK-College of Communications & Kentucky
Water Resources Research
Institute, (research project coordination and facilitation)
Jason Martin, UK-College of Communications, (transcription).
Mitchael Schwartz, UK-College of Communications, (focus group facilitation and logistics).