EPA hopes that the practices described will persuade those who are new to these ideas to experiment with this form of leadership. Indeed, engaging with their communities as described in Promising Practices is consistent with many permit applicants’ published core values. These principles, practices and values lead to corporate sustainability, stability and – ultimately – profitability.
Early and meaningful dialogue between the permit applicant and the community is especially important in communities that have historically been underrepresented in the permitting process or that potentially bear a disproportionate burden of an area’s pollution. Meaningful dialogue promotes environmental justice. Providing specific information about the pollution and related health impacts of a permit action may allay general concerns the community has about the facility or educate it about other sources of exposure. A permit applicant that ignores a neighboring community’s concerns about pollution from its facility or general concerns about pollution in the community may experience delays in the permitting process, negative publicity, and community distrust. Employing promising practices can foster a dialogue between the permit applicant and the community to prevent misunderstandings and possibly opposition to the permit. Promising Practices describes additional benefits of meaningful engagement in permitting process.