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Panel Report

Appendix O - Details of a Siting Process Proposed by the Panel

It may also review general criteria for site selection and advise governments on a future site selection process in addition to examining, in general terms, the costs and benefits to potential host communi-ties.

Terms of Reference

This appendix provides additional detail on the siting and facility design process suggested in section 6.3.1.

Preliminary Siting Steps

If the municipal council (MC) or equivalent expressed an interest in site investigations through a formal resolution or motion, the siting task force (STF) and the MC would take the following steps to strengthen community structure.

Community Profile

The MC, in consultation with the STF, would appoint social scientist(s) who would conduct a sociological or community profile study to understand the social issues related to siting. This process would include, but not be limited to, establishing a database; identifying the key players and interest groups; identifying the way both formal and informal decisions are made; and describing the possible social effects of a facility. This work would be updated periodically to incorporate changing values and priorities in the community. The profile would establish a database to facilitate public participation over the lifetime of the project and to monitor social, health and environmental impacts.

Community Facilitator

When this study has been completed, the MC, in consultation with the STF, would appoint a community facilitator from outside the potential host community (PHC) to work primarily for the community liaison group (CLG). This appointment would be confirmed later by the CLG. The STF and the MC would negotiate the job description and accountability of the facilitator. Particular attention should be paid to including the views of Aboriginal people, women and minority groups whose first language may be neither English nor French. The facilitator would have experience in social dynamics and community animation and should remain in place at least until the PHC made a final decision on hosting a facility.

Community Liaison Group

The CLG's main task would be to advise the community's formal decision-making authority (MC or equivalent) from the perspectives of the community sectors it represented. This would involve three-way communication among the people in various sectors of the community, the STF and the MC.


The CLG should be representative of the groups in particular sectors of the PHC and potentially affected communities (PACs), and should consist of people those sectors select. On the basis of the community profile and database, and with the help of the community facilitator, sectors (e.g. media, business, environmental, educational, religious, leisure and sports) should be encouraged to hold an open meeting of all related organizations in their area to select one or two persons to serve on the CLG. Attention should be given to gender balance. Those selected would serve limited, staggered terms of office. If a second person is selected in the sector, he or she would serve as an alternate. The CLG structure should be flexible, since it would function throughout the life of the project. The proposed terms of reference would be circulated for comment from all interested parties, followed by revisions and agreement.


The duties of the CLG would vary from community to community, but the Panel suggests its functions should include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • ensuring interactive public communication and participation with the STF and MC, which would include involving minority or marginalized groups and groups in the PACs, and establishing a complaints and mediation procedure;
  • meeting early with the STF and MC to build trust and to clarify their respective mandates and roles for the life cycle of the project; and
  • reporting back to people in its various sectors using printed material, radio and TV interaction, phone-ins and electronic information systems.

The CLG should have the support of the community facilitator, in part to involve marginalized people in its work. It should also have an adequate budget to allow citizens to participate in the process. This would cover such things as access to technical or social expertise as needed, office support, and costs for forums, printed material, communications and use of public media.

The revolving membership of the CLG should allow it to exist over a period of some years, or until the end of the project.

Refining Siting and Transportation Criteria

Previously established site and transportation route selection criteria should be refined at this stage. The PHC and PACs would carefully study the general criteria and add siting criteria specific to their own communities. The criteria should be openly reviewed through public participation mechanisms that the STF, MC and CLG would develop. This would provide another checkpoint for the community in the process.

The STF would conduct reconnaissance studies, apply criteria and determine the suitability of potential candidate areas by considering favourable characteristics. Two or three candidate areas might be identified using a ranking process that was mutually acceptable to the PHC and the STF. The potential candidate area would also have to meet all previously negotiated conditions between the STF and the PHC.

Refining Design Options

Following the identification of candidate areas, design options would be refined to suit a specific community and site, based on appropriate levels of investigation. As with the refinement of the general siting criteria, the PHC would have to review and accept design options. Negotiations with the STF would also include agreements on compensation, monitoring, retrievability and co-management.

Transportation Routes

With the identification of a preferred candidate site, the STF would select potential transportation routes. Public consultations would be held with the appropriate PACs to establish a procedure to identify and address their concerns. With this information, the STF would characterize and select a preferred transportation route and mode, and prepare detailed transportation system designs. Finally, the STF would conduct an environmental, technical and social assessment of the transportation system, as part of the final environmental review.


Community Decision-making Process

The PHC, through its MC, would decide on the process of decision-making (e.g. referendum) and the actual question to be asked in siting a waste management facility. They would also decide on the percentage of votes that would constitute agreement to host a facility.


The siting of a waste management facility should leave any community in a "better position" than it would be if it did not host a facility. The MC and STF negotiators must use substantial input from residents to define "better position," and must not view "better position" solely in economic terms.


The STF and MC, in consultation with the CLG, should decide who could be responsible for monitoring social and environmental impacts and technical factors related to construction, operation and postclosure of a waste management facility. Indicators should include, but not be limited to, health effects; community social cohesion or conflict; use of psychological services and counselling; safety and security incidents; and economic and environmental impacts.

The MC or equivalent should select the members of the monitoring team, who would work on a revolving basis. These citizens would be accountable to the MC or equivalent. Preparation work for monitoring should be done in conjunction with the STF. Monitoring would be necessary throughout the siting process and beyond. Because monitoring would be needed for a long time, the STF and the MC or equivalent should pay special attention to structures and processes for monitoring. These structures and processes should be part of the agreement-in-principle.