Gulf Coast Methanol Park

Community Advisory Panel

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

As a large industrial plant, IGP is aware of the particular responsibility we have towards the communities around our site. We aim at engaging openly with our neighbors in our quest to forge meaningful relationships within our local communities. IGP regularly seeks input and openly communicates with citizens and community leaders.

One of these forums is the Community Advisory Panel, which provides a continuous, long-term discussion venue for open dialog. It consists of a group of individuals who live near or around the site, and who represent the fabric of their community.

MISSION STATEMENT

It is the mission of the Gulf Coast Methanol Community Advisory Panel to:

  • Facilitate dialogue between residents of the neighboring areas and the management of Gulf Coast Methanol (GCM) on issues of importance to the community and GCM.
  • Act as a “focus panel,” providing advice and feedback on a variety of issues from a community perspective.
  • Create more awareness and understanding among the citizens of the neighboring areas about the operations of Gulf Coast Methanol.
  • Create better understanding on the part of the Gulf Coast Methanol management and employees of the feelings, beliefs, perceptions, and concerns of the residents the neighboring areas.

OBJECTIVES

The CAP’s goal is to develop a shared understanding of the interdependency of IGP and the community, while providing local people the opportunity for direct involvement, allowing IGP to better address the local expectations. Two important outcomes are generally the result of a CAP.

First, and most importantly, the community representatives are able to provide the facility’s leadership with feedback and advice from the community’s perspective.

Second, citizens learn about the facility and its operations in a very detailed way – environmental performance, jobs and hiring practices, safety, incident prevention, emergency preparedness and emergency response, community support, and any other issues that the CAP members and plant representatives believe are important.

CAP meetings are always candid but never controversial. We create open dialogue and honest communication. We help the facility’s leadership to better understand the community’s perceptions and concerns, and we help the community to better understand the facility and its operations.

Gulf Coast Methanol engaged The TJC Group, a Louisiana-based firm that specializes in the creation, management, and facilitation of industry-based Community Advisory Panels.

MEMBERSHIP

CAP community members include individuals who live or work in Plaquemines Parish and representatives of organizations and government entities serving the Parish. Currently, there are 24 individual CAP community members.

Management from IGP and its contractors comprise the plant members of CAP.

The CAP is large enough to reflect the diversity of the area surround the Gulf Coast Methanol Park but small enough to allow dialogue.   New members are added periodically. If you live or work in Plaquemines, the best way to decide if you are interested in joining is to read the minutes of the meeting posted on this page. If you are interested contact our facilitator, Stephanie Boswell of The TJC Group (stephanie.boswell@thetjcgroup.com – 504-388-2076), or Tim Johnson (tim.johnson@thetjcgroup.com – 225-757-5527).

ORGANIZATION

The CAP meets approximately 9 times a year to engage in dialogue about issues.   Members select agenda items, focusing on topics that relate to project. Topics have included:

•  Health

•  Safety

•  Environment

•  Emergency response and communications

•  Economy

•  Education

The CAP addresses topics by group dialogue, IGP presentations and data-sharing, and inviting outside speakers to share their views. Meetings are run by a neutral, third-party, professional facilitator. Ground rules guide work. See CAP Guidelines

HISTORY

The IGP Methanol CAP held its first meeting in October 2017. The IGP CAP is one of several sponsored by industrial facilities in Plaquemines Parish. The IGP CAP is the only one that was initiated prior to construction and operations of the facility. The regulatory process does not provide opportunities for community members to receive critical information. IGP recognized that a vacuum of information existed and invited those members of the community who raised questions to join our CAP.

While CAPs are not new, they are rare prior to operations. The concept comes from the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care program. Established in 1988, Responsible Care requires members to make a commitment to seek public input and listen and respond to concerns. One of the ways many companies have chosen is by working with community leaders to form CAPs.

Photos © 2018 Randall J. Harris