Acronyms: NEPA = National Environmental Policy Act while NAEP = National Association of Environmental Professionals
This week, I'm at the NAEP conference in Atlanta, volunteering to teach environmental professionals about using Twitter. Unlike the APA conference where there was chatter on Twitter before the conference, Twitter was completely silent before the NAEP conference. So we're going to try a different focus at the NAEP conference. Rather than talk to folks about using Twitter for their projects like we did at the APA conference, we're going to focus on 4 specific NEPA projects (all environmental impact statements) that are using social media sites, like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Below are 4 environmental impact statements (EISs) that all use different combinations of social media tools and have different administrative record policies. For example, one EIS only uses Twitter; another EIS is using 4 different social media sites. The EISs also range in administrative record policy–some EISs DON'T include comments via social media sites in the administrative record, and other EISs DO include comments via social media sites in the administrative record. Ideally, these 4 EISs demonstrate that there are a variety of social media tools being used and administrative record policies being implemented.
4 NEPA Projects (EISs) using Social Media Sites
Loop 1604 Project
FHWA, TxDOT, Alamo RMA
Description: improvements to Loop 1604 (37 miles) in Bexar County, Texas
Administrative Record Policy: “Comments made on these sites (Twitter, Facebook, Socializer, blogs), herein called ‘social media sites” will be not be included or evaluated as part of the ongoing Environmental Impact Statement decision-making process… These social media sites are available for and intended to encourage public dialogue about the project and are, as such, provided for outreach and informational purposes only.”
Rosemont Copper EIS
US Forest Service
Description: mining and processing of copper, molybdenum, and silver ore in the Nogales Ranger District in Arizona
Twitter: 14 followers
Administrative Record Policy: “Forest Service would use Twitter™ for notification only – one-way communication, not dialogue”
Description: Improve I-95 in North Carolina
Administrative Record Policy: “All comments or posts made to Driving 95 accounts, walls, forums or pages are public, not private. This means that both the posts of the employee administrator and any feedback by other employees or non-employees, including citizens, will become part of the public record.”
Metro’s Westside Subway Extension
Los Angeles Metro
Description: alternative analysis for subway extension
Facebook: 2,361 members
Administrative Record Policy: “Comments, questions and posts on our wall will become part of the official public comment record for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR) currently in progress.”
Note: All participation counts are from April 21, 2010.
Handout for Easy Printing
In case it's helpful, here's a handout that Anthony designed that summarizes the 4 EISs, their social media participation counts and their administrative records policies:
You can provide this handout to the people in your organization that might have implemented Facebook or Twitter blocking policies. If you have been or are successful in reversing those policies, please share below how you did this.
Also, there are other environmental assessments and environmental impact statements out there using social media tools other than the 4 EISs listed above. If you know of any other EAs and EISs that should be included in this list, please leave a comment below.