$0.00 – $6.00
Consensus Building Institute and Alberta Environmental Appeal Board
Mediation of a three-party dispute among a paper mill, a community group, and an environmental regulatory agency over the paper mill's air pollution permit
Inter-Continental Paper, Ltd (IC) is looking to upgrade and expand its pulp and paper mill in Storyville. By doing so, it hopes to increase the production and efficiency of the mill and also claims that it will develop more environmentally friendly techniques for bleaching paper. The local Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) approved and publicly endorsed this application.
Shortly after this approval was announced, the Storyville Community Coalition (the Coalition) filed an appeal against the decision of the DEP. The Coalition is concerned that the DEP's approval was made without due regard to the environmental impact that the approved changes will have on Storyville. The Coalition is galvanizing the locals with its claims that the IC's 'upgrades' will in fact result in the release of carcinogenic materials into the local environment.
The Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) will allow the Coalition to appeal the matter. The EAB determined that this Issue might be settled through a mediated negotiation. DEP, IC, and the Coalition have agreed. Though EAB is anxious to use mediation to resolve this claim. It will proceed to a traditional hearing process in the case of an impasse. The mediation will include an EAB official who will act as mediator and representatives from the three parties; the IC Storyville plant manger, the president of the Coalition, and the director of Air and Water Approvals from DEP.
- Many participants may be unaccustomed to a process in which the mediator knows very little about the case prior to the face-to-face mediation.
- The mediator must be able to keep the discussion focused on the 'issues' and allow the parties to vent 'hard' feelings while managing disagreements about past behavior so they do not sidetrack the dialogue.
- The mediator must help the parties avoid spending too much time on any one issue, given time constraints, so that all key issues can be considered. Helping establish a constructive agenda and keeping the parties on track are two important responsibilities of the mediator, especially within a time limited situation.
- The mediator must try to help the parties develop a “package” which will satisfy all groups. The exploration of options, including those not explicit in the players’ instructions, will increase the chances of building a consensus.
- The mediator can help the stakeholders "create value" by encouraging them to think about packages (rather than single issues), future relationships, joint statements, contingent commitments, dispute handling mechanisms for the future, and determining whether one or more parties might bring additional resources to the table.
- Moving from broad discussion to specific written agreements is often a challenge because of misunderstandings among the parties.
- The mediator can use a "single text" to focus the parties on a shared draft, working either in a group or separately with each party to revise the text to all parties' satisfaction.
This role play is designed to help administrative board members improve their mediation skills.
The simulation is divided into two parts. In the first half, the parties explore areas of agreement and disagreement. In the second half, the parties strive to draft a written agreement capturing their tentative verbal understandings.
The room for the exercise should have space for 4 parties, and at least one private breakout room. It is also recommended that at least one flipchart be present so that the mediator can make use of the ‘one-text’ procedure of mediating.
This is a mediation among three parties. The mediator may choose to keep the parties together or speak with them separately. Each side should take 20 minutes to read their role and prepare. The negotiation will take 1 hour minimum. Debrief should last at least 30 minutes.
For all parties:
- General Information
- Technology Information
- Press Release
Role Specific: Confidential Instructions to
- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Air and Water
- Storyville Community Coalition (the Coalition)
- Inter-Continental Paper, Ltd (IC)
- Environmental Appeals Board Mediator
Teacher's Package (32 pages total):
- All of the above
- Teaching Note
Multiparty negotiation, mediation, regulatory negotiation, Environmental dispute resolution.
Amending Approval for the Storyville Pulp and Paper Mill Attributes
|Time required:||2-3 hours|
|Number of participants:||4|
|Neutral third party present:||Mediator|
|Teaching notes available:||Yes|