f ice of
Public Affairs, A-
Washington, D.C
                           May 1977
   orking Effectively wit
Advisory Committees

Working Effectively With
in Water Quality
What they do
What kinds there are
How they interact
How to...

  Organize them
  Operate them
  Support them
  Respond to them
  Build their trust
  Evaluate them
  Get their support
  Budget for them
Prepared for the United States
Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, D.C.
By Ann Widditsch

May 1977

      CHAPTER 1.
 1    Types of Committees
 1      Policy Advisory Committee
 1      Technical Advisory Committee
 1      Citizen Advisory Committee
 2    What Do Advisory Committees Do?
 3         "Do we have to run our consultant contracts through the committee?"
 3         "The committees aren't sure what they're supposed to do, and neither are we."
 3    Permanence of Committees
 3    Interaction Among Committees
 4      "How do we manage the interface between the committees?"
 4    How Do Advisory Committees Relate to Other Parts of the Citizen Participation
 4      Public Meetings
 4         "Committee members object that we're anxious to 'throw them to the wolves' "
 4      Public Education
      CHAPTER 2.
 5    Organization
 5      Membership
 5         "We aren't anxious to include a vocal opponent on the committee."
 5         " 'Our role is adversary, not participatory.' "
 5         "How can a committee really be representative of all interests in the community?'
 6      Structure
 6      Leadership
 6    Rules
 7    Committee Meetings
 7      When?
 7      Where?
 7      How Often?
 7         "If they miss a meeting they never find out what happened."
 7         "Members quit coming unless their interests are addressed."
 7      Agenda
 7         "We can't seem to get the written material out long enough in advance."
 8         " 'Most of the meeting is taken up with complicated and/or dull presentations' "
 8      Voting
 8      Dynamics of Committee Meetings
 9         "The committee makes ridiculous statements."
 9         "Committee members don't stick to the subject."
 9         "A few members do all the talking!'
 9         "There is hostility between the members  and the staff."
 9         "How can we cope with confrontations'?"
 9    Other Committee Activities
 9      Field Trips
 9      Meetings with Other Groups
 9      Informal Contacts

      CHAPTER 3.
10    Staff  Involvement
10      Who?
10         "We can't spare the staff time to go to all those meetings "
10      What?
11         "We can't understand enough of what's going on to make a contribution."

11      How?
11         "The staff talks down to us."
11         "The staff pays more attention to the 'important' people."
12    Building Committee Trust in the Agency
12      "Why is the committee so suspicious of the agency?"

      CHAPTER 4.
12    Responding to Committee Recommendations
12      "We don't know whether, or how, our input is being used."
12    Using Committee Recommendations
13    Recommendations That Can't Be Used
13      "How can we deal with recommendations that are impossible?"
13    Evaluating Committee Effectiveness
14    Plan Implementation and Committees
14      "They've already made all the important decisions."
14      "How can we get a consensus?"
14      "How can we get them to be partisans  of the plan?"

      CHAPTER 5.
15    Direct Expenses
15    Indirect Expenses

      CHAPTER 6.
16    Requirements
16    Who Is on the State Committees?
17    What Do State Committees Do?
17    How Do State Committees Operate?
18    How Does the Staff Help?

     ' APPENDIX A.
18    For  Areawide Agencies
19    For  States

19    Types of Members
19      Organizational  Representation
20      Interest Representation
20      Open Membership
20      Combination
20         "A known trouble maker has volunteered."
20    Selecting the Individual Members
20      Organization Selection
20      Agency Selection
20      Third Party Selection
20      Group Nomination
20      Snowball
20      Persuading People to Serve
21    Committee Leadership
21      Selection by Governing Body/Agency
21      Member Election
21      Temporary Selection
21      Rotating
21      Agency Chairing
21    Committee Size and Structure
21      Size
21      Structure
21      Subcommittee Functions
21      Special Considerations
21      Charts


   jnderthe requirements for public
     participation in 208 planning, most
ansawide agencies and States have by
now organized at least a policy advisory
committee, and in many cases, other
committees as well. They have chosen
members, drawn up rules, and set
patterns of operation.
  How are all these committees working?
What has gone wrong? What can be done
to help? How can an imperfectly operating
committee be made effective?
  Some of the answers are in this guide*
which has been designed to help
agencies and States work with
committees to support them and to make
them productive and effective in plan
development, as well as rewarding to the
  For those agencies which are just
setting up a new committee, advice on
organizing it is found in Appendix B. The
advice also applies to changing or
reorganizing committees.
  The advice is general, since it is
impossible to be too specific, because
physical circumstances, political realities,
government constraints, public mood, and
many other factors vary so much.
However, the guide sets forth issues,
discusses them and suggests how you
might deal with them.
  Discussed are the various types of
committees; their purposes, broad roles,
functions, powers and duties; their life
spans and interrelations. Also discussed
are committee organization; rules,
meetings and other activities; staff
support; building committee trust in the
agency; response to recommendations;
evaluation; relation to plan
implementation;  special problems of State
committees, and budgeting as well as
likely effects of the choices that are made.
  Throughout, examples of typical
problems and incidents are highlighted,
with suggested approaches to solutions.
These are listed in the Contents for easy
  This guide, it is hoped, offers an
opportunity to learn from other peoples'
problems and mistakes since it is based
on actual experiences, including those of
208 advisory committees.
' While mosl of the guidance applies to both States and
areawide agencies. Chapter 6 deals specifically with
special problems of State advisory committees.

The fact that advisory committees are
 I required is reason enough to have
them. But they can perform many useful
functions throughout the planning period.
Perhaps most importantly, advisory
committees can make it more likely that
the final plan will be carried out.
Types of


Three general types of committees are
 I used in 208 planning: policy advisory,
technical advisory, and citizen advisory.
There are many variations and

Policy Advisory
Every agency (and every State) is required
to have a policy advisory committee
"to advise... the agency... during the
development and implementation of the
plan on broad policy matters, including
the fiscal, economic, and social impacts of
the plan. (40 CFR 130.16(c), emphasis
Sometimes the policy advisory committee
is the governing board of the agency,
expanded to meet EPA requirements. It
may be an existing committee expanded
to fulfill the requirements, or it may be a
new committee appointed just for this
  The policy advisory committee is the
link between the program and the
governing body. It keeps track of the
progress, discusses the work plan, and
reviews results of data collection and
management analysis.
   Membership of such committees at the
areawide level generally includes city and
county officials and representatives of the
State and EPA Other members may be
utilities and public works people,
professional planners, city administrators,
sanitary engineers, environmental group
representatives, soil and water
conservation people, labor union officials,
health department people,
representatives of the U.S.  Departments
of Agriculture, Interior, and Army;
members of Indian tribal councils, and
other citizens. At the State  level the policy
advisory committee must be made up of at
                                       ' For relevant statute, regulations, and guidelines, see
                                       Appendix A.
least 50 percent locally elected officials
unless a different arrangement is agreed
upon by the local jurisdictions and EPA's
responsible Regional Administrator.

Technical Advisory
The technical advisory committee is not
mentioned specifically in the regulations
or guidelines. It may be a subcommittee of
the policy advisory committee, or it may be
a separate entity.
  Usually, members have technical
backgrounds representing government
planning and technical units such as city
government, sewer districts, water and
sewer authorities, and State and Federal
agencies. Other members include
planning commissioners, river basin
commissioners, sanitary engineers,
biologists, ecologists, air pollution
officials, and county health officials.
Citizens and private groups usually are
not represented.
  The normal role of technical advisory
committees is to review and make
recommendations on technical data and
analysis. Sometimes they help translate
for citizen advisory committees what is
going on in the planning.
  Technical advisory committees are
often broken down into functional
subcommittees. These might include
subcommittees on such things as
implementation, legal and financial
aspects;  land use planning,
transportation, and population and
economy; nonpoint source and surface
water quality and resources; solid waste;
agriculture and forestry, marine resources
or economic-industrial development.

Citizen Advisory
Formation of a citizen committee is
strongly recommended in the Draft
"... In addition to Policy Advisory
Committees, citizens advisory committees
should be established. It is unlikely that
adequate citizen input will be obtained
solely through the Policy Advisory

 Committee. Citizens can provide valuable
 inputs throughout the planning process.
 Their participation should be actively
 encouraged."(P. 4-10)
 However, the roles and functions of these
 committees are not spelled out. The EPA
 Public Participation Handbook*
 recommends that such a committee
 "... critique and aid planners in
 determining the best, fairest and most
practical means of dealing with water
 quality problems and... informing and
 motivating the groups they represent to
participate..  "(P. 24)
  Citizen advisory committees provide a
 broader-based review of the plans and
 programs than would otherwise be
  Typical members include
 representatives of business and industry
 in general, those from particular
 industries such as shipbuilders, realtors,
 seafood processors, and construction
workers; educators, doctors and other
professionals; representatives of local and
national environmental groups;
recreational interests such as hunters,
fishers, hikers;  students, labor union
off'c^, civic groups, professional
societies, lake and stream protection
organizations, agricultural interests, and
representatives of geographical areas or
governmental entities.
  Citizen advisory committee meetings
give more citizen groups an opportunity to
participate on a regular basis. Such
citizen advisory committees also allow
citizen groups to zero in on issues that
concern them, whereas policy advisory
committees must deal with all matters.
What Do Advisory

Committees Do?

    Advisory committees exist to give
    advice. Si nee there are many different
ways that this can be done, it is best to
first set some ground rules. Committee
purposes, broad roles, and specific
functions  - iwer . and duties must be
clearly spf 'iied out and agreed upon in
advance by the committee(s) and the
agency (including the governing board).
This is especially important for citizen
advisory committees. Individual members
also need to have a good understanding
of what the committee is to do before they
agree to serve, to minimize the possibility
of misunderstanding.
  An advisory committee can be a
sounding board for the agency.  It can act
as a guidance group, monitoring the
planning on behalf of the governing body,,
making recommendations to it. An
advisory committee can act as a channel
of communication for those wanting
information, and wanting to make input to
the plan. And, an advisory committee can
become an effective citizen lobbying
group forthe completed  plan, helping to
ensure implementation.

Other roles for a committee:

•  Help ensure that community goals
(both local and statewide) are addressed
in the plan.

•  Provide additional technical or
professional skills to the planners.

•  Provide for representation of many
different interests throughout the planning

•  Broaden the agency's view of issues.
Give the agency a chance to try out new
ideas, float trial balloons.
 Advisory committees may undertake
 specific functions such as those listed

 • Help set planning priorities.

 • Review technical data and analysis.

 • Design, or help design, a public
 participation program.

 • Interpret the planning to others
 (agencies, organizations, officials,
 citizens) and advise the governing body
 and agency staff of reactions, comments.

 • Review and make recommendations
 on interim products of the planning.

 • Help resolve conflicts among various

 • Review and make recommendations
 on the budget.

 • Help select consultants, review

 • Review all written material, especially
 that destined forthe public.

 • Help agency staff reach local opinion

 • Help plan, host, and participate in
 public meetings and meetings with
 organizations or agencies, especially
 those which the committee members

 • Advise on environmental and social

 • Help educate the public about 208
 planning and programs.

 • Review plans for and results of public
opinion surveys.

 • Take part in action programs to
advance the plan—for example, a stream
 cleanup program.

 • Review and make recommendations
on alternative plans.

 • Advise on the politics of plan
acceptance and/or implementation.

 • Act as a watchdog for the public on
agency planning and/or implementation.

  Problem:  "Do we have to run our con-
  sultant contracts through the committee?
  They may not come out the1 way we want
  Suggestion:  Agencies which  have
  done so have been glad. Such contracts
  will vitally affect the final product,  and
  therefore are suitable for the committee's
  Most important is to define the limits of
each committee's authority before the
committee begins its work. Will the
committee have the power to make
decisions? If so, which? Under what
conditions? Is the group expected to work
on all agency responsibilities, or just one
or two? Where does each committee fit
into the agency's organization chart? Is it
an integral part of the agency decision-
making process, or parallel to it?
Committee members need to know
answers to these questions, and they are
entitled to a clear definition at the
beginning of theirwork. Serious
misunderstandings can result from lack cf
clarity on these questions.
   Problem:  "We  already have three
   committees going, and we didn't define
   their duties and powers in the beginning.
   The committees aren't sure what they're
   supposed to  do, and neither  are we.
   What can we do now?"
   Suggestion:  If you did not carefully
   think through  in advance just what you
   want the committees  to do,  when  it
   needs to be done, and how you plan to
   use the results, it should still be done.
   Where there is more than one committee,
   with potential conflicts in jurisdiction,
   clarity is even more essential.
Permanence of


    Committees may be temporary or
    permanent.  In addition, ad hoc task
forces or committees may be set up to
deal with particular problems or areas of
interest. While the requirement for
planning and implementation suggests
permanence, a permanent committee has
some pitfalls. It may become so
institutionalized that it is more an arm of
the agency than a separate advisory body
and loses credibility with its outside
  Also, some committee members may be
more interested in planning and others in
implementation.  It might be reasonable to
reorganize the committee (s) as
implementation nears.
  On the other hand, a non-permanent
committee may be interpreted as less
important to some members—the agency
should be alert to counterthis feeling if it
arises. Setting up ad hoc committees or
task forces, to take care of special jobs
could counter much of this feeling.
  There is likely to be a need for some
type of long-term or future committee
structure, and the agency might  benefit
from consideration of this as early in the
process as possible.
  Committee members should
understand the duration of their
responsibility clearly, too—are they
committed to meeting monthly for a year,
quarterly for three years, or weekly for six
Interaction Among


    Relationships among committees vary
    greatly (See Appendix B for sample
organization charts).
  In some cases, the technical and citizen
committee each advise the policy
committee, which advises the governing
board. In this arrangement what the board
hears from the technical and citizen
committees is filtered through the policy
committee, so the board may never learn
specifically what the other two committees
think is important. Also, the citizens have
no opportunity to take technical problems
into account,  nor do the technical experts
have to consider the citizens' concerns.
  Where all three committees advise the
governing board (the policy committee
usually has the dominant role because it
is required), the governing board gets
recommendations and weighs all
considerations—technical versus citizen,
versus special interest, etc. This may be a
considerable burden, but at least they are
aware of what is on the minds of all their
  In some situations citizens are
members of subcommittees of the policy
committee and there are no separate
citizen committees. Ad hoc committees or
task forces may report to any of the
committees or directly to the governing
  Some of the problems of liaison can be
lessened by having members of the
technical and citizen committees serve as
members of the policy advisory committee
(and vice versa). They may attend policy
advisory committee meetings and be
allowed to speak or may have voting
powers. The problem of representation
remains—will these dual members report
back adequately and represent the views
of both bodies to each other. It also may
be hard to find people who can attend all
those meetings.
  Occasional meetings of two or all three
of the committees will  help improve
communications in general,  as well as the
discussions on specific issues.
  In one  large metropolitan area, the
citizen  and technical advisory committees
were combined, because committee
members felt strongly that they should not
be separate.  In this case committee
members are pleased with the results.

Another problem, however, is that citizens
might become so "professional", that they
begin to function as technical experts.
One danger with this arrangement is that
technical people on a citizen committee
could intimidate those who are not
technically trained.
  In another 208 area, the policy advisory
committee can overturn a decision by the
citizen advisory committee only by a vote
of two-thirds of the whole committee (not
just those in attendance). Although final
decisions still have to be made by the
policy advisory committee, the citizen
committee can exert a powerful influence
on what the policy group does.
  Too often, committee structures and
relationships grow out of past agency
practices and local feelings about
advisory committees. Each approach has
its pluses and minuses. Agencies first
need to decide what will work best in their
own areas, for their own problems. Then
the roles of the various advisory
committees should be determined, and
together responsibility for these roles
should be assigned as they relate to the
tasks of the agency.
  Each committee member should
understand and accept how his/her
committee relates to the others and to the
governing board and agency. It is vital
therefore, that some machinery be set up
for informational cross-flow and inter-
relation between committees and their
   Problem:  "How do we manage the in-
   terface between the policy advisory com-
   mittee, the technical advisory committee,
   and the citizen advisory committee?
   Suggestion:  First,  be sure  the roles
   and tasks of each are defined. Draw a
   realistic organization chart of the rela-
   tionship. Do the technical and citizen
   committees report to the policy commit-
   tee, or do all three report to the govern-
   ing board/agency separately?  Does
   everyone understand the place of each
   committee in the structure? Occasional
   meetings of all groups together  could
   help provide some common ground, as
   could having representation from each
   committee on all  others, or periodic
   reporting from one to another.
 How  Dp Advisory
 Committees  Relate
 To Other Parts
 Of the Citizen

    Advisory groups are only one part of a
    public participation program. Other
 elements include public meetings, public
 education efforts, and surveys, all of which
 can affect and be affected by advisory

 Public Meetings
 Advisory committees have a particularly
 close relationship with public meetings.
The policy advisory and the citizen
 advisory committee, either  separately or
together, or both in consultation, should
assist in scheduling meetings at
appropriate times. From their perspective
as representatives of various
organizations and interests, committee
 members should help plan  the meetings.
  Members of policy and citizen advisory
 committees should attend all public
 meetings and help in chairing them,
 moderating workshops, and making
 presentations. Members of technical
 advisory committees should also attend
 public meetings. Where necessary, they
 can help explain technical matters to the
 public (although technical presentations
should be minimized).
  Committee members by their presence
can help ensure that comments made by
the public will be considered in the
decision-making process. Members  of the
policy and citizen advisory committees
also have an obligation to encourage
members of the groups they represent to
attend the meetings.
  Comments made at public meetings
should be submitted promptly to the
policy advisory and citizen advisory
committees (and, if appropriate, to the
technical advisory committee) for
recommendations to the governing board.
   Problem:  "Committee  members ob-
   ject \that when there's a public meeting
   we're anxious to  'throw them to the
   wolves'—the public."
   Suggestion:  A committee should be a
   big help at the time of public meetings—
   helping chair, meeting people,answering
   questions, etc. But members need to be
   well-prepared in  advance  for what is
   likely to happen (including  sparse turn-
   out), and should have helpful staff back-
   up). Committee members should not be
   left in an exposed position to defend the
   study and the plans.
Public Education
The policy advisory and especially the
citizen advisory committees have an
important role in public education. They
can make speeches or presentations
about the planning and what is going to be
happening. They can be available for
newspaper, radio, and television
interviews and "talk" shows.
  If surveys are used to try to determine
public feeling about some of the issues,
advisory committees can help review the
survey plans and format as well as the
results. They also can make
recommendations as to what weight
should be attached to survey results.

 It's a complicated process to put together
  an advisory committee that will be able
to work productively together and with the
agency or State for two years or more.
  Keeping an advisory committee running
effectively is just as complicated. Most, if
not all, committees are already in
existence. What can you do to make such
groups work more smoothly, to meet
problems that have arisen? If problems
exist,  it's not too late to improve
committee operations.

"There are a number of ways an existing
  I  committee's organization can be
changed if it becomes necessary.

Agencies should review their committee's
membership periodically, particularly as
issues become more fully known. New
interests can develop and you may want to
add members from those interests.
   Additions of members should present
no serious problems unless  rules prevent
it. (If so, it might be wise to amend the
rules.) More people  may be needed just to
maintain a reasonable size.
   Some people believe that  negative or
overtly hostile people should be included
on committees. It is important to consider
this. While it may be painful to try to enlist
opponents, their opposition  might be
softened, and you would at least eliminate
the frequent complaints of not being
                                             Problem:  "We  aren't anxious  to in-
                                             clude a vocal opponent on the commit-
                                             Suggestion:  You need to know what is
                                             on the opponent's mind. He or she may
                                             be expressing a view held by many, and
                                             may be able to make a lot  more trouble
                                             for you by staying outside  the process.
                                             Be sure to give the opponent credit for
                                             helping, too.

                                             Problem:  "What if they say, 'Our role is
                                             adversary,  not participatory.  We don't
                                             want to preclude our option to sue.'?"
                                             Suggestion:  Try first to persuade the
                                             group to send someone to join the com-
                                             mittee. If that doesn't work, try to per-
                                             suade them to send an observer, at least,
                                             so that they are informed. If they are ada-
                                             mant, there is nothing more that you can
                                             do.  Publize the fact that they were in-
                                             vited, so that all will know.
cannot be represented on the advisory
committee, the major one must be, and in
a balanced way. Are the commu • y's
major values and concerns represented
on the'committee? If you are open to
criticism on this score, or think you might
be from developers, environmentalists,
industry, or some other interest—it is time
to reconsider the total membership of the
   Problem:   "How can a committee really
   be representative of all  interests in the
   Suggestion:  It can't be,  completely,
   but it can  be close enough to meet the
   intent of the law and the regulations—
   and minimize criticism Make a list. In-
   clude all characteristics of present com-
   mittee members that might be of repre-
   sentational  interest  (occupation,   age,
   sex, race, geographical area, avocation,
   organizational memberships, etc.). Then
   look to see if something is missing. Think
   about the nature of your area. Is wheat
   farming  important?  Livestock raising?
   Shellfish harvesting? Stream fishing?
   Strip mining? What kinds of recreation
   might be affected by the  plan? Are there
   women  on the  committee?  Young  peo-
   ple? Old people? Minorities? Discuss
   with present members of the committee
   any gaps that seem to need filling, and
   then go about filling them
                                            Balance is most important for the
                                          committee—but is more easy to recognize
                                          than to define.  While all possible interests

  Be prepared for formal or de facto
dropouts, and realize that not all will
continue to participate throughout. If
people quit attending meetings, or taking
part otherwise, see if they are willing to
terminate their formal membership and
make room for more active people.
  The committee or the agency may wish
to drop members on its own initiative. This
can only be done with great caution; it is
risky to drop a member for reasons other
than non-participation.

A committee should be big enough to
represent major points of view, but small
enough to be effective as a forum for
discussion and work. If the whole group is
more than 15-20, an executive or steering
committee is probably needed for day-to-
day contact with the agency, setting
agendas, overseeing arrangements, etc.
  One agency said that if it was doing it
again, it would subdivide the committees
into smaller subgroups, having found
smaller groups much more effective.
Another, finding that a couple of its
subcommittees were not working well,
combined them with other effective
  All subcommittees or task forces  need
not be fully active through the whole
planning process. Some will be active
early, some late, but all should be active
near the end of the planning.

Is the committee  leadership satisfactory
and effective? It can' be delicate or difficult
to change leadership, but not impossible.
  If the rules provide for periodic election
or rotation, problems are minimized. If not,
and a change  is deemed desirable,
perhaps a frank talk with the chairperson
will help. Assigning more responsibility to
vice chairpersons also may be helpful.
"The degree of formality of a committee's
 I operations is up to the agency, the
committee, or (preferably) a combination
of both. If the agency made the rules, it
should at least give its advisory
committee(s) a chance to propose
  To assure effective committee
operations, there should be written rules
or bylaws defining committee
responsibilities and functions. The rules
should include the responsibilities of the
governing body and the agency in relation
to the committee, too. For example, what
kinds of written material will be submitted
to the committee for review? How much
notice will be given for meetings?
  Other items to be considered for
specific rules or policies include:

•  Attendance
Is a certain number of absences grounds
for dropping a member?

•  Participation of observers
Are nonmembers permitted to speak at
meetings? Take part in other ways?

•  Voting
.-,re all members entitled to vote?  Do staff
members vote? Are all decisions made by
i simple majority? Are there quorum
- 'ovisions?

»  Subcommittees
• low do they relate to the full committee9
Are their responsibilities defined? Do they
decide what work to do, or is it assigned to
them? How do they report?

•  Reporting
How does the committee report to the
governing body/agency, and vice versa?
How often?

•  Public availability of material
Should committee minutes, tapes, and
other material be available to the public?
How and where?

•  Constituencies
Are there specific requirements for
members to report to and from their
constituencies? How are such
requirements implemented?

•  Parliamentary procedures
To what extent are they followed?
•  Expenses
Are members' expenses reimbursed? (In
large areas, and particularly with State
committees, members may have to spend
a night—or even two—away from home to
attend a meet ing.)

  Although some rules are clearly
needed, don't burden yourself with
unnecessarily complicated ones, and try
not to let the committee spend a lot of time
and energy on them.
  On the other hand, you may need more
rules than you currently have. If so,
attempt to deal with all appropriate
revisions at one time. Most important, all
parties should understand what is
expected of them, so that there is no
chance for misunderstanding.

   The 208 Guide No. 1 on public meetings
    has many general suggestions which
apply to advisory committee meetings as
well. Briefly, the relevant points are:

• Meetings should be planned within the
time available. Usually only one large
subject, perhaps several aspects of it, can
be handled in one meeting.

• The topic must be appropriate for the
planning phase currently underway.

• The topic must be important, and must
be seen as important by committee

• The meeting format should be simple
and chosen in consideration of the time
available, to maximize participant

• If presentations are to be made,
speakers should be knowledgeable,
responsive, and personable.

• The moderator should have the same
characteristics and be neutral toward the
content of the topics discussed.

• Necessary arrangements should be
made for recording ortaking minutes of

• Committee members should be
greeted when they arrive. If they are not
already acquainted, or if the public is
expected, name tags, and/or name plates
at the meeting table should be

• Many different formats can be
considered for meetings; workshop,
conference, hearing, information, forum.

Meeting times depend on the
convenience of the participants. In
general, if attendance is part of the
members' jobs, they will want  it to be
during business hours; if not, evenings or
weekends are preferable. Committees
that have both types of  people should
probably  hold meetings at various times.
  In any case, the conveniences of the
agency staff—while not negligible—
should not be an overriding consideration.
  The length of meetings should be
specified and agreed upon, usually no
longer than two and a half to three hours.
  Some committees (perhaps only
technical advisory committees) never
meet. Material is sent to members, and
they comment or respond in writing, by
telephone, or by tape recording.

The place should be convenient for the
majority of members.

Factors to be considered are:

• Suitable room—easy to see and hear

• Available parking

• Available public transportation

• Travel time minimized

• Safe surroundings

• Comfort

• Convenience of nonmembers who may
wish to attend.

  The arrangement of the space is also
important. Seating the committee around
a table—round or a hollow square—is
probably best if the group is not too large.
A large committee may have to be seated
classroom style. This, however, does not
encourage informal discussion. For the
same reason, the chairperson and
speaker(s) should be on a raised platform
only if the group is so large that it is
difficult to see and hear. A large
committee should be broken up into
smaller discussion groups whenever

How Often?
Regular meetings are easy for people to
remember and schedule. Many
committees meet monthly, often
alternating presentations and
discussions. Sometimes the full
committee meets one month, and
subcommittees the next.
  Based on agency-committee
agreements as to committee
responsibilities, it is  desirable to develop
a schedule of meetings appropriate to
those responsibilities and the planning
schedule well in advance. Then the
governing body and agency will be able to
consider comments and
recommendations of the committee in
timely fashion—there will be no danger
that comments will be too late in the
process to affect the  planning.
  However, there is  nothing worse than a
meeting that is not really needed. So if
meetings are scheduled far in advance,
some flexibility should be provided.
  When long periods (longer than two
months, for example) occur between
meetings, written progress reports to all
members are advisable. A regular
newsletter is especially useful for large
   Problem:  "Committee  members have
   the feeling that if they miss a meeting
   they never find out what happened."
   Suggestion:  A responsible staff per-
   son should call absent persons and tell
   them  what  happened.  In  addition,
   minutes or summaries in writing should
   be sent out promptly. It may be necess-
   ary to do some reviewing at the begin-
   ning of the next meeting (but not too
   much). The staff has the responsibility for
   keeping the members up to date.
   Problem:  "Members quit coming
   unless their parochial interests are ad-
   dressed, or there is an exciting general
   Suggestion:  Perhaps everyone's par-
   ticular interest can be addressed at least
   once in a while. Or, it could be done at
   informal meetings or in small groups.
   The chairperson or a  high-ranking staff
   member could  talk  to the committee
   member, pointing out the importance of
   the committee's work and the need for
   that member's presence. If the member
   consistently stays away, perhaps  his or
   her resignation should  be asked  for.
   More variety in types of meetings, so that
   they are not boring, is another way to at-
   tack this problem.
Meetings should be carefully structured to
get the results that are needed. Specific
issues and questions should be posed.
Each agenda item should be an action
item, even if the only action will be to
comment (comments which will be
reflected in appropriate reports).
  Written information should be received
by members at least seven days before
the meeting. Written reports and other
material for the committee should be as
nontechnical as possible, with  major
points summarized.
   Problem:  "We can't seem to get the
   written material out long enough in ad-
   Suggestion:  It's easy to say you just
   have to,  but this may  be  hard to ac-
   complish. Everyone will  have occasional
   problems like this, but  if it happens all
   the time, there is something wrong.

    While committees must be kept fully
 informed, they can be overburdened with
 paper and may react by reading none.
 Some general criteria for written material:

 • The information should be written for
 about an 8th or 10th grade reading level.

 • Summary information should not be
 longerthan five pages, double-spaced.

 • The more detailed and technical
 information upon which the summary is
 based should be readily available at
 convenient places for people to review.

 Many types of agendas can be used.

 • Staff presentation, discussions,

 • Presentation only (for education)

 • Presentations, smaller discussion
 groups, reporting to full committee,

 • Individual interest group, agency or
 subcommittee presentations, discussion,

 •  Discussion, decisions following public

 •  Special films, slides, etc.  (A/I
 presentations and most other agendas
 should contain a generous amount of wel I-
 done graphics).

 •  Field trips

 •  Informal and quasi-social  contacts

   Variety in meeting types and styles
 helps maintain interest. If things seem to
 be dragging with your present program,
 try something different.
   The responsibility for preparing
 meetings rests primarily with the agency
 staff, but is often shared with  the
 committee chairperson, the interest group
 making a presentation, or a program
 subcommittee. Or the whole group may
agree on the agenda for the next meeting.
While the agency must ensure that it gets
the help it needs from the committee when
it needs it, the interests of the committee
members in selection of topics for the
agenda must be given every
   Problem:  "Committee members com-
   plain that most of the meeting is usually
   taken up with complicated and/or dull
   presentations from the staff.  But those
   are the things we need to bring to them"
   Suggestions: The staff  should deter-
   mine just how much of this is really es-
   sential. Then figure out ways to make the
   material  less technical. Get the reports
   out in advance so that people can look at
   them, and then just ask questions and
   discuss  them at the meeting—no  pre-
   sentation will be necessary. ((Develop a
   variety of ways to present the material
   (including graphics).

   Problem:  "Committee  members  say,
   The  meetings all have the same routine
   format in a stuffy meeting room—why
   can't  they be  different  once  and a
   Suggestion:  Why not visit a sewage
   treatment plan  to make  the planning
   effort  more meaningful?  Similar effects
   can  be  achieved with  industries or
   problem areas—overflowing creeks,
   feedlots,  sewage or industrial  outfalls
   into public water, etc.
For an advisory committee to make
recommendations, the members must
take a position (or consciously decide not
to do so). The usual way is to take a vote.
   Most votes are decided by a simple
majority but this method does present
some pitfalls. While balanced
representation on the committee is always
a goal, it is seldom fully achieved. Some
members may resist voting with others
because-of long-standing hostility. Close
votes on important issues, even in
accordance with agreed-upon rules, may
-result in committee member resentment.
The agency may be misled into following a
recommendation which presumably has
"committee support" because it was
approved by a bare majority. Neither of
these results bodes well for plan
   Committee member consensus on
important issues is the most desirable
form of committee opinion. To achieve it,
several alternatives to a simple majority
vote may be tried.

•  More than a simple majority (three-
fifths or two-thirds) could be required for a
vote to carry. This would eliminate the
need of achieving "perfect"
representation in the committee.
                                           •  Differing vote margins could be
                                           required for different types of issues.
                                           things as committee operational rules
                                           might be decided by a simple majority,
  while votes on the substance of the plan
  would require something more. These
  could be further divided, for example, two-
  thirds required for recommendations on
  interim planning products, with a three-
  fourths majority required to recommend
  the final plan.

  • Taking no vote might be appropriate
  where the issue would so polarize the
  members that future deliberations would
  be jeopardized. Or, at times, the issue
  may be such that the majority " lean" to
  one position, but many members may
  prefer not to "go on record" as supporting
  or opposing it. If necessary, the
  chairperson might achieve a positive
  result without a vote by saying:
  "It seems to be the sense of the
  committee  that (statement). If there are no
  strong objections, I'd like to let the
  minutes reflect that sense."
    Using any of these suggestions
  requires a strong, sensitive chairperson
  and agency staff. They must be sensitive
  to the wording of recommendations in
  order to achieve the greatest possible
  consensus. They must be able to break
  any issue down into points of agreement
  (which can  be voted upon readily) and
  disagreement (which probably cannot).
  Informal negotiations may be required.
   But, when implementation is the goal of
  planning and broad community support is
  needed to assure that implementation,
 these methods to achieve consensus may
  be needed.

  Dynamics of Committee
  Much of the material in the 208 Guide No.
  1 (Public Meetings) is relevant here. For
 example, discussions are worthwhile if:

  •  the atmosphere is natural, calm, and

  •  all participants respect what others
  have to say; and

 •  the full diversity of ideas is
 expressed—as opposed to personal

  In addition,  Lt is necessary to keep to the
 agenda and to be sure that everyone has a
 chance to speak.
   In public  meetings there is little time to
. try to deal with personality conflicts. The
 moderator can only try to keep to the
 issues at hand, asking people to refrain
 from harangues. With a continuing

committee there is time to try to resolve
these problems.
Some suggestions:

•  Talking with the disruptive individuals,
asking them why, and seeing if there
might be a solution (this should always be
done outside the meeting.)

•  Attempting to get the antagonists
together privately to work out their

•  Setting aside a meeting or two to
discuss "personal agendas" in the hope
that this will lead to greater

  Another possible problem is hostility
between the committee and the agency
staff (or even governing board). If the
purposes, roles and functions of the
committee  have been agreed upon at the
beginning,  such occurrences, though
uncomfortable, should cause no lasting
problems. If there is confusion about the
committee's role, the first order of
business is to  discuss this, as
dispassionately as possible, with the
whole committee (perhaps with a
preliminary discussion between the staff
and the chairperson or executive
  The committee may come up with
recommendations that the agency does
not like. If all attempts to persuade the
members fail, there should be no attempt
to prevent them from filing their own
report on the plan. Make every effort to
keep the disagreement on a substantive
basis, so that citizens and decisionmakers
will understand the real issues.
Other Committee


    Committee meetings need not—and
    should not—be the only committee
activity. For example, a good change
would be for the committees (and the staff)
to get together informally over brunch or
supper. This can pay dividends in helping
to understand each other's problems, and
can increase members' ability to work

Field  Trips
Field trips, mentioned earlier, are
valuable, for nothing takes the place of
actually seeing the local sewage
treatment plant, afeedlot, a strip mine, or
a wild river. Such trips need to be carefully
planned so that they are learning
experiences, and are still enjoyable for
the participants. Members should have
advance appropriate written material and
maps for the trip. There should be well-
informed guides and an opportunity for
discussion on what has been seen and
how it fits into the planning.
  In addition, field trips give members a
chance to talk informally and to get to
know each other better and understand
opposite sides of issues before the

Meetings with Other Groups
The advisory committee may have its own
meetings with other organizations, often
with the organizations represented by
members of the committee. This can
enhance the member's reputation in his or
her own group, and help spread the
responsibility for informing each

Informal Contact
Agencies with successful committee
programs usually spend a lot of time on
informal contacts with members and small
groups of the committee. "One-on-one
meetings are best with elected officials—
you can get their individual attention,"
said one  agency person. "You can raise
issues with them without their audience
being there."
  Staff personal interaction can be
especially helpful with technical material.
People without technical training are often
hesitant to ask questions in a meeting,
and discussing technical matters
individually or in small groups will pay
  One agency official arrived early for a
meeting and had a chance to have dinner
with the committee. "He got to hear all
theirfrustrations'', said an observer. "He
learned somethings he never would have
learned at formal meetings."
  In these activities, guard against
fostering an in-group and out-group
feeling in the committee—this will only
lead to trouble. Individual attention should
be distributed among all members.
      Problem:  The committee goes  out of
      control and makes ridiculous statements
      and proposals."
      Suggestion:  If frank discussion with
      the chairperson and the committee does
      not help significantly, consider bringing
      in  some  strong new members and
      perhaps vice chairpersons who can help
      chair meetings. Sit down with committee
      members and point  out the problems
      with what they are proposing, frankly and
      firmly, but not with ridicule.

      Problem:  "Committee members don't
      stick to the subject."
      Suggestion:  The chairperson should
      probably take a stronger hand in guiding
      the discussion. Periodic  summaries  of
      the discussion and where it needs to go
      to accomplish what needs to  be done
      can, he Ip
   Problem:  "A few members  do all the
   Suggestion:  Staff  and  chairperson
   should  discuss how to cope with  this
   problem. It may be useful to have a short
   discussion with the whole committee to
   point out that some talk a lot, others very
   little,  and  that all comments  are
   welcome, and urged.  From time to time it
   may be  necessary to place time limits on
   everyone's comments, or actually to in-

   Problem:  "There is hostility between
   the members and the staff."
   Suggestion:   If the  problem is over  a
   substantive part of the planning—for ex-
   ample, if the committee does not like any
   of the alternative sites for a sewage treat-
   ment plant—the committee may just have
   to make its own report and state its
   reasons. Attempting  to  paper  over  a
   difference of that magnitude would only
   lead  to more  trouble. Recognize  that
there will not always be agreement, and
acknowledge it to the committee.  Dis-
cuss with the  committee (perhaps first
with  the  chairperson  and any  other
officers) how you can work together even
under these circumstances, and try to
come to an agreement on how to oper-

Problem:  "Howcan we cope with con-
frontation and disruptions?"
Suggestion:  If things  get  ugly at  a
meeting,  it may be best to adjourn and
try to  meet separately with the various
factions before the next meeting. In an
extreme case the committee might have
to be  disbanded.  Disruptions (not very
likely with a regular committee) call for a
firm hand,  and probably an  immediate
recess or perhaps adjournment  for the

     Making advisory committees effective
     takes strong leadership from the
agency—and substantial support.
  Along with philosophical and
administrative support (logistical,
analytical, issue formulation, and
information preparation), a clear
commitment of agency resources is
needed. This means staff time, printing,
contact work, presentations, mailing
lists—it translates into a substantial
amount of time and money. Committee
members themselves do not have the time
(or necessarily the commitment, or
inclination) to provide their own support.
And they can hardly be expected to use
their own money to pay for it.


   Staff members' position with respect to
    a committee is delicate: they must
lead when necessary, but not take over.
They should be supportive to people, no
matter what their level of technical training
is and they must try to be resourceful,
patient, and neutral—not advocating one
alternative over another.

Many agencies have a public involvement
coordinator for the agency public
participation program. An important part of
this job is dealing with the committee(s).
The coordinator should  have the full help
and cooperation  of other staff members.  If
the coordinator is the only one who
attends meetings, the agency's credibility
with the committee could suffer.
  In some agencies a committee has its
own staff person. This provides continuity
and trust can be built, as the staff person
acts as liaison between  the committee and
the agency. A disadvantage is that this
staff member may not understand equally
all elements of the plan. Finally, the staff
person should not be expected to attend
meetings alone; various technical people
should attend the committee meetings as
  In another agency, a planning staff
member is assigned to each committee
responsibility or subcommittee. This
provides consistency and a point of
contact, but may  be too  heavy an
additional time burden for the planners.
  Probably everyone on the staff,
including the director, should spend some
time working with the committee.
Participation by agency leadership in
committee meetings adds to their
credibility and is likelyto lead to more
committee influence on decisions. Staff
attendance at meetings can be on a
rotating basis.  One agency  with a
successful committee program assigned
each staff member to at  least one
subcommittee and expected each to make
periodic reports to the full committee. The
whole staff must understand the
information flow process and be involved
in it if both sides are to benefit.
  It is clear that however staff support is
arranged, time will be taken away from
other aspects of the program. This must
be recognized,  for it is one aspect of the
commitment of  resources.
  Consultants can be used to plan and
manage programs, advise, and evaluate,
but they cannot completely take the place
of staff involvement.
  In some agencies a consultant, group,
or organization  has been hired to
accomplish citizen participation. This can
make the committee more autonomous.
There are, however, some disadvantages
in having the citizen participation activity
separate from the agency. Liaison may not
be so close and frequent meetings with
the agency staff are necessary to keep in
touch with what is going on.
  Some agencies have successfully used
student interns  to do detail work. Students
can be inexpensive and often enthusiastic
labor, and sometimes they have worked
themselves into permanent full-time jobs.
But interns have to be backed up by
experienced  staff members.
  Help is also available from EPA
Regional Offices and headquarters in the
form of manuals, conferences, and
seminars. (See  Bibliography, Appendix C,
for some publications which might be of
                                                                                   Problem:  "We can't spare the plan-
                                                                                   ning staff time to go to all those commit-
                                                                                   tee meetings, or the program will fall
                                                                                   behind schedule."
                                                                                   Suggestion:  It may be the most impor-
                                                                                   tant thing they could do.  The advisory
                                                                                   committee  has  to  understand  what's
                                                                                   going on in order to become supporters
                                                                                   of the plan, and their help will be  crucial
                                                                                   to the implementation of the plan. These
                                                                                   costs in staff time should have been built
                                                                                   into the budget in the first place. If they
                                                                                   weren't, adjustments are necessary.
                                                                                 From the beginning, there is much
                                                                                 administrative and detail work for the staff.
                                                                                 The agency staff should work with

 chairpersons in planning meetings and
 setting agendas. They take care of the
 logistics of meeting places, field trips, etc.
 They see that minutes and/or tape
 recordings are taken, transcribed,
 distributed to committee members, and
 filed where they are available to the
 public, along with other relevant papers.
   Staff people help frame the way issues
 come before the committee. There are
 many ways to do this. One agency takes
 up part of an issue at each meeting.
 Another advocates first a brief overview of
 all the issues,  then takes one subject at a
 time—land use, agriculture, forestry, etc.
 For this agency, this method has led to an
 active role for the committee.
   The agency also needs to help educate
 the constituencies of committee
 members. Staff people may help organize
 meetings, make presentations, talk to
 leaders. For some  groups, this may mean
 visits and other contacts.
   The staff, in  cooperation with committee
 members, must be alert to keep bringing
 new people up to date.
   Inevitably, much written material will
 pass from the agency to the committee.
 (see Chapter Two for.suggestions). It is a
 chal lenge to keep the committee i nformed
 without overwhelming it. As the
 chairperson of the  New Castle (Delaware)
 County Citizen Advisory Committee wrote:

 "Along the way we learned that our
 committee members have to have a quality
 we had not envisioned in the beginning:
 The  ability to keep  from drowning in the
 data furnished so abundantly by staff and
 consultants alike."
 "Therefore, I would recommend that
 trustworthy executive summaries become
 a standard part of every report made by
 either consultants or staff.   "*

 It is best if the  material is in terms the
 committee can understand and deal
 with—problems that they are familiar with.
   Problem:  "Committee members com-
   plain, 'We can't understand enough of
   what's going on to make a  contribu-
   tion.' "
   Suggestion:  The staff has been talking
   in  its own jargon.  Have  a round-table
   session with the committee to discuss
   the problem. Give your written material
   and oral presentations to a neutral ob-
   server or consultant  without  technical
   training to identify  problems in under-
   standing. Hire or identify  a staff person
   with good communications skills to work
   on the problem.
   However, better too much information
 than not enough. Some agencies are
 reportedly gui Ity of not even providing
 enough copies of documents to their
 committees. Maps and other supporting
 material must be provided, too.
   It is vital to keep the advisory committee
 informed, even about those things they
 may not need to know. It may turn out that
 some minor or obscure matter sparks an
 important contribution by a committee
 member. Appropriate acknowledgement
 and feedback for all contributions
 (discussed more fully in Chapter 4) are
 also vital.

 This whole section discusses "how" but
 several items should be emphasized here:

 •  Committees are made more
 autonomous by letting them control their
 own budgets. There may be some legal
 constraints, but arrangements can be
 made to let the committee make basic
 decisions about their budgets.

 •  Staff people regularly assigned to
 eitizen committees, ought to feel that their
 boss is the committee or its chairperson,
 not the project manager. (The public is
 their real boss.)

   Staff people can be members of
 advisory committees, but should be ex
 officio without a vote, since their major
 input to the planning comes in a different
 way. They should go to committee
 meetings and serve the committee in
 other ways as resource people.

 • Some committees need a lot of shoring
 up to keep going. This is where the need
 for informal, individual, and small-group
 contacts is the greatest.

 • Citizen "experts" can have real,
 substantive input into policy. Don't
 underestimate the contribution that can be
 made by such members.  Technical
training or a degree in engineering is not
 necessarily a prerequisite for a good
committee member. "Self-educated
experts" can be especially valuable in
advising on public participation, citizen
values, and the political feasibility of
implementing various plan alternatives.
 Problem:   "Committee  members  feel
 the staff talks down to them"
 Suggestion:  It may take a lot of self-
 discipline for a technically trained staff
 person not to  become  impatient with
 non-technical citizens, but it is essential.
 If attitudes cannot be changed, perhaps
 such a staff person will have to be kept
 away from contact with the committee.
 With time and good will  on both sides,
 though, good working relationships can
 be established.

 Problem:  "Committee  members feel
 the staff pays more attention to the 'im-
 portant' people on the committee than to
 the others."
 Suggestion: This is often a temptation.
'The nationally known mayor of a large
 city is used to commanding more atten-
 tion than a part-time mayor of a village
 (not to mention a "plain" citizen), but it is
 very important that all on  the committee
 be treated equally, given the same infor-
 mation, and be made to feel equally  im-
'"CitizenParticipation inthe208
Program"Environmental Comment. January 1976. p. 7.

Trust in the
    Citizen advisory committees,
    especially, tend to be skeptical about
whether anyone pays any attention to their.
opinions. Show that you take the
committee seriously. It may be helpful to
have citizen committee members sit on
policy committees and vice versa
  The more helpful a staff is to a
committee, the more accessible, and the
more open  and informal, the greater the
trust that is likely to develop. Informal and
individual contacts will help. Nevertryto
deceive the committee or hide problems
that may be occurring in some phase of
the planning. Nothing can destroy trust
Tiore quickly.
  What is needed is to work toward a
 elationship where everyone thinks in
 jrmsofwe", rather than "we the
 ommittee", versus "they" the agency (or
 ice versa).
  Most important in building trust is
ihowing that what the committee said and
Jid, did make a difference, that it was
aken into account. (Chapter 4 deals more
•ully with this).
   Problem:  "Why is the  committee so
   suspicious of the agency?"
   Suggestion:  They have probably had
   some bad experiences in the past,  not
   necessarily with this agency, but with
   some government agency. Their feelings
   may be colored by their feelings about
   the Federal Government, too.  Perhaps
   you can change their attitude  for  the
   future. Don't just tell them, but show
   them that you take their interests and
   contributions seriously. Recognize that
   they are giving you what  you could  not
   get in any other way.
    Unless committee recommendations
    are adequately dealt with, there is
absolutely no point in having a committee
(except, of course, to go through the
motions of the law and regulations).
Responding to

  In the beginning, the agency should have
  thought through what, how, and when,
committee advice would be used. This
should include a plan for dealing with
advice that is unacceptable to the agency
as well as that which is acceptable. If this
was not done at the beginning of the
agency-committee relationship,  some
agreed-upon plan to use comments and
advice should be made now.
  To maintain credibility, responses to
committee comments, at all times, must
be specific and prompt. Obvious good
faith effort by an agency, and a good
record over a long period, are needed to
convince committees that they are not just
                                         Problem:  Committee  members  can
                                         feel that they don't know whether, or how,
                                         their input is  being used.  There are
                                         several ways to overcome this.
                                         Suggestion:  First, communications
                                         are  clearly lacking. The  committee
                                         should be kept informed, promptly, of
                                         what use is being made of its  recommen-
                                         dations  and  comments.  Second,  the
                                         agency should be  making all  possible
                                         efforts to incorporate the committee's in-
                                         put. The better you  explain what you are
                                         up to, the more likely it is that they will
                                         have worthwhile input to  be considered.
                                         They probably do not expect that every-
                                         thing they say will be used, but they can
                                         be resentful if  it is ignored.  Bend  over
                                         backward to use anything you can and
                                         where you can incorporate some point,
                                         even if revised extensively,  be sure to
                                         point this out. Above all, explain why you
                                         didn't if you didn't. Not doing so is the
                                         surest way to lose the committee's in-
                                         terest, your credibility, and the commit-
                                         tee's trust in you.
                                                                            Using Committee
                                                                            Insofar as possible, the committee's
                                                                            comments and recommendations should

be part of the plan. Even if they are in a
somewhat (or even radically) different
form, they should be cast so that the
committee can trace its influence. The
record should be clear. Committee
members have to see how their input
affects the whole process. This means that
there should be feedback from the agency
throughout the planning process.
  Ideally, there should be a constant two-
way flow of information and feedback. New
Castle County described its process as:
"Interaction between the staff and the
advisory committees is an ongoing
process. Each task assignment in the
work program results in some type of work
product by the staff member or consultant.
At the completion of a report or analysis,
copies of the report are given
simultaneously to the  Technical and
Citizens Advisory Committees, and
appropriate subcommittee (s).    The
subcommittees^follow the progress of the
tasks... by reviewing preliminary draft
reports and outlines, and by commenting
on procedures, methodologies, and
preliminary findings. It is important to note
that—where possible—draft reports are
distributed at preliminary stages so that
the initial thinking of the agency on the
subject is shared with the advisory
committee. Written comments are
encouraged and are subsequently filed
with the work product. Comments raised
in discussion during subcommittee
meetings are recorded in the minutes of
the meeting and on tapes of the meetings.
Members of the staff are assigned as
resource persons to each subcommittee
in order to explain technical aspects of the
reports, answer questions raised by
subcommittee members, and to consider
their comments, criticism, and
suggestions. The result of this process is
a two-way flow of information and ideas,
with the staff presenting their viewpoints
to citizen representatives and the  citizens,
inturn, contributing their suggestions to
the program. ("Public Participation in the
Newcastle CountyAreawide Waste
Treatment Management Program.")
This work required much attention to
detail and a lot of follow-up to be effective.
Success or failure can depend on many
little things that just require watchfulness
and sensitivity. Listen to what the
committee is saying, and be aware of what
isn't being said. You may have to deal with
extraneous points—but don't just dismiss
them, try to learn why committee members
thought they were important.
  The agency isn't perfect and it's
counterproductive to give the impression
that it is—if you have gone down a blind
alley or made a mistake, admit it and show
that you've learned from the experience.

Recommendations That
Can't Be Used
If some of the committee's advice is not
usable, it is most important that all its
suggestions be treated respectfully.  It
should be demonstrated that there was
careful consideration given to the
suggestion and there should be detailed
explanation of why the suggestions are
not used.
   Problem:  "How  can we  deal  with
   recommendations that are impossible or
   impractical without alienating the com-
   Suggestion:  See suggestion for last
   problem Above all, treat the committee's
   comments  with respect and courtesy.
   They are making a big commitment in
   time and energy, and should be treated
   Periodic evaluation (perhaps at the end
    of each planning phase) is needed to
determine whether the committee
arrangement is working well. Then, if there
are some problems, changes can be made
to increase effectiveness. Evaluation
should be done periodically by the
committee itself, by the agency staff, and,
if necessary,  by outside consultants. One
way for a committee to conduct this kind of
self examination with or without agency
staff is on a one-day or weekend retreat.
  What are some criteria for measuring
effectiveness? Suitable questions for the
committee to ask itself include:

•  Is the information provided to us

•  Do we get all the information we need?

•  Are meetings interesting and worth-

•  Are we expected to make decisions on
real issues?

•  Is our representation balanced?

•  Does the agency respond to our input?

•  Do we feel a vital part of the process,
and are our recommendations a given
major consideration?

•  Do we feel that we can affect the final

In its/evaluation the agency might ask:

•  Has the committee's input been
useful? Why or why not?.

•  How has it influenced planning?

•  Is it an effective working body? Are
there conflicts within it or with the
agency?                            i

•  Do members come to meetings

•  Have new issues emerged during the
planning as a result of committee input?
If there are problems with an advisory
committee—poor attendance, or members
grumbling about each other or about the
agency, neutral outside consultants may
be needed to help evaluate and resolve
some of the problems.
and Committees

 Integration of committee
  recommendations into the planning can ,
and should have a beneficial relationship
to implementation of the plan. If you have
made concerted efforts to work with your
committees to make them active
participants, members should be effective
partisans of your plan. They can help
explain it to the community, while they
work with you on the next steps.
                                            Problem:  "Committee  members say,
                                            They've already made all the important
                                            decisions—we're just  here to  ratify
                                            Suggestion:   It  takes a long time .to
                                            build  up credibility.  Good faith  efforts
                                            over the period of the study and planning
                                            can eventually change this feeling. Early
                                            on, show that you are paying attention to
                                            advice and  recommendations.   If  you
                                            can't adopt suggestions,  give reasona-
                                            ble explanations  why, not just the "we
                                            technicians know best" type. And treat
                                            committee  members with respect.

                                            Problem:  "How can we get a consen-
                                            sus within  the committee that our pro-
                                            posals are the  best solution  to the
                                            problems before us?"
                                            Suggestion:  You may  not be able to
                                            get a consensus, but if you can't per-
                                            suade the  committee, you are likely to
                                            have a  hard  time persuading the tax-
                                            payers and decisionmakers. Be sure that
                                            the division of power is defined. What the
                                            committee can do will be circumscribed,
                                            but they can certainly make trouble.  If
                                            you are confident that  you are right,
                                            chances are good that you can persuade
                                            the larger community. After  all, you are
                                            the experts. If you can't, you will just have
                                            to take your lumps and examine how you
                                            could have done things differently to
                                            change the outcome—for future battles.

                                            Problem:  "How can we get them to be
                                            partisans of the plan?"
                                            Suggestion:  This  can  never be
                                            guaranteed, but if the agency has  shown
                                            strong leadership, if  the committee has
                                            been kept informed all along, has had a
                                            chance to  make comments and recom-
                                            mendations and has seen some of them
                                            adopted, and if reasons for not adopting
                                            others have been given (in a reasonable
                                            and non-patronizing  way), chances are
                                            much improved. If committee members
                                            are given real responsibilities, as at the
                                            time of public meetings,  that will help,
    According to a study of 208 agencies  t
    made in 1975, an agency's budget for
public participation averaged from 1 to 20
percent. While no information is available
on the specific costs associated with
advisory committees alone, one agency
(most of whose public participation is its
advisory committee activities),
conservatively estimates its public
participation budget is at 15-16 percent.
  Inadequate public participation budgets
have caused many problems but agencies
have often discovered this when it was too
late to allocate any more money.
  What are probable advisory committee
budget items? Some are identified here
along with a suggested formula for
calculating the costs. These budget items
are included as direct and indirect
expenses. Direct expenses are those
which must be paid for, out of the "agency
pocket", when incurred. Indirect
expenses are part of the general agency
or program budget (that is, not normally
allocated to advisory committees or other
citizen participation efforts). Because of
the time which agency staff must spend in
preparing for, conducting, and following
up on advisory committee meetings and
other activities, indirect expenses,
(expenses which include personnel costs)
will exceed direct expenses. Budgeting
for them will help assure effective advisory
committee operations.
  A budget should be prepared for each
committee and subcommittee, the two-
year budget probably should be broken
down into six-, four-, or three-month
periods because committee expenses will
not be incurred at the same rate over that
period Some months will require more
meetings and more budget than others.
Developing such as "cash-flow" budget
can help ensure having enough money or
time later in the planning process when
committee activity is likely to be most

Direct   Expenses
1.            .Printing
              a.  background informationifor meetings: No. of meetings x No. of
                 pages/meeting x No. of copies (all meetings) x unit cost

              b.  meeting notices No. of meetings x No.  of copies/meeting x unit
              c.  committee reports: No. of meetings x No. of pages/meeting x No. of
                 copies (all meetings) x unit cost
2.             Graphic Design and Production
              a  design: contract or piece rate for No. of charts (all meetings)

              b.  production No. of charts x No. of copies (all meetings) x unit cost
3.            Postage.
              a.  background information: weight of each piece to be mailed x 1 st
                 class piece rate x No. of pieces/meeting x No. of meetings
              b.  meeting notices: weight of each piece to be mailed x 1st class
                 piece rate x No. of pieces/meeting x No. of meetings
              c.  committee reports: weight of each piece to be mailed x 1 st class
                 piece rate x No. of pieces/meeting x No. of meetings

4.            Consumables
              a  envelopes (-see No. 3 above)
              b.  pencils, paper, felt pens, chalk (all meetings)
              c.  refreshments (all meetings)
5.            Advertising:
              newspaper to publicize meetings to general  public (if required or
              desired)—for each paper, rate x No. of times                               $ 	         l$_

6.            Travel
              a.  reimbursement for participant travel to meetings: No. of meetings x
                 No. of miles (round-trip) each member x No. of members x mileage
                 rate                                                           $ 	
              b.  reimbursement for staff travel to meetings: No. of meetings x No. of
                 miles (round-trip) each staff person x No. of staff persons x mileage
                 rate                    '                                         	
              c.  field trips: bus (or other vehicle) rental x No. of times                        	         '$L
TOTAL, DIRECT EXPENSES                                                                                  $_

Indirect Expenses

1.            Agency Personnel
              a  meeting preparation: for each person, No. of hours x hourly rate             $  	

              b.  meeting conduct: for each person, No. of hours x hourly rate                  	
              c.  informal member contact: for each person, No. of hours x hourly
              d.  meeting follow-up: for each person, No. of hours x hourly rate                 	        $_
2.            Agency overhead to above:
              percent of all other unallocated costs necessary to support No. 1 above                                      i$ -

TOTAL, INDIRECT EXPENSES                                                                                $ .
TOTAL, ADVISORY COMMITTEE                                                                              $ .

    Generally, this guide to Advisory
    Committees applies to States as well
as to areawide agencies. But there are
some differences between State and
areawide advisory committees, which can
result in some different problems for

The State must do planning in non-
 I designated areas, and must coordinate
the water quality planning of all agencies
within the State—including local, State,
interstate, and Federal agencies. This
additional duty is reflected in what is
expected of statewide advisory
  To accomplish this, the State's 208
policy advisory committee must have a
majority of elected officials of local units of
government, unless the EPA Regional
Administrator permits otherwise. In
addition, representatives of Federal  and
other appropriate agencies should be
included on the policy advisory
committee.  And it is strongly urged that at
least one advisory group be set up for
each planning area.
  While there is no requirement for citizen
advisory committees at the State level,
many States have established them as a
help with the whole citizen participation
program. Some States have also set up
technical advisory committees.
                                     ' See Appendix A for relevant portions of the law,
                                     regulations, and guidelines Appendix B provides
                                     advice on organizing and reorganizing committees,
                                     which applies generally to States as well as to
                                     areawide agencies.
Who Is

on the  State


 In many States, the Governor's cabinet or
  staff, supplemented with key legislators,
mayformthe nucleus of the policy
advisory committee. Often, States have an
existing board or committee, which may
advise on many aspects of State
Government. This may be used for the
citizen advisory committee. (The use of
existing committees is advised for States
as well as areawide agencies.)
  Balance is perhaps even more
important for State committees than for
areawide ones. Representatives from
significant statewide interest groups and
organizations should be included—labor,
business, agriculture, environmental,
taxpayer, conservation, engineering, civic,
consumer. The EPA Public Participation
Handbook suggests inclusion of:

"local elected officials, appointed officials
who make water quality related decisions,
those groups or individuals who express a
special interest, groups whose support or
opposition could affect a plan's approval,
and citizens who would bear the brunt of
implementation impacts.  " (P.21)

  In one State with no areawide agencies,
a selection committee chose the members
of the citizen advisory committee.
Organizations were asked to submit
names and these were winnowed and
balanced to provide regional and other
representation. In addition, a special task
force advises this committee on legal,

technical and financial ramifications, but
these people are not members of the
  Since an advisory group is
recommended for each planning area, the
statewide committee could consist of
representatives of the various local areas.
In another State which is doing all the
State's 208 planning, there is a policy
advisory committee for each basin. The
chairperson and vice chairperson of each
constitute the statewide policy advisory
committee. The local groups receive
recommendations from their areas and
pass them on to the State governing body.
  Such a committee, however, maybe
less than ideal because each of its
members is specifically pursuing the local
interests of his or her basin, rather than
focusing on a statewide perspective.
  State committees must address the
goals of the whole State. Taking such a
broad view is difficult. There are not many
groups (or individuals) who have such a
State perspective.
What  Do

State  Committees


   According to the Handbook, the
    purpose of State advisory committees
is to help planners and State government
officials determine "the best, fairest and
most practical  means of dealing with water
quality problems."
  What they do depends to some extent
on the size and nature of the State, and
how much of it is non-designated. If there
are many designated areawide agencies,
the role of the State agency and its
committees  may be mostly a coordinating
  Because of local interest, it is likely to
be easier to obtain citizen participation on
the local level, so that the State agency
(and committee) will be very interested in
helping see that areawide citizen
participation efforts are effective.
  State advisory committees or special
task forces can help resolve conflicts
between communities or help with
particular water quality problems that may
cross the boundaries of areawide
agencies, such as feedlot runoff, forestry
activities, or urban stormwater.
  As with areawide committees, an
important task for advisory group
members is  getting members of the
groups they represent to participate in the
planning process. They should be doing
public education not only with their own
organizations,  but generally in their own
  It can be helpful for the State committee
to hold its meetings in various parts of the
State, to observe local conditions first
hand and to hear about problems and
solutions from local people. A committee
member from the area (if there is one) may
act in a host role with the help of the
agency staff. Where areawide agencies
have been designated, the State
committee can meet with the committee(s)
of the local agencies.
  A State advisory committee has a
special responsibility to help with any
public meetings held by the State agency.
(See the 208 Guide No. 1 (Public
Meetings) for advice on statewide
meetings). This will likely require working
closely with  a local organization and local
representatives of statewide interest
groups to prepare for the meeting and
help stimulate attendance.
How Do
State Committees


    How State committees operate
    depends somewhat on the size and
nature of the State. If the State is large,
and water quality problems differ vastly
from one part to another, the committee
may work mostly through subcommittees
based on area or subjects rather than
holding meetings of the full committee.
  In any case, State committee meetings
have to be carefully scheduled, since
members are likely to have to travel some
distance. It may be appropriate to
reimburse members' expenses since
some members may have to stay over
night. And meetings should be arranged
so that the same people are not always

 How Does

 The Staff Help?

 The lead agency responsible for the
 I State water quality management plan
 is also responsible for staffing the
 statewide committees and
 acknowledging, coordinating and
 responding to their advice.
  The agency may appoint another
 government agency as its deputy in
 dealing with the committee or may hire a
 consultant,  but the responsibility remains
 that of the State agency.
  In one State, a statewide citizen
 organization contracted to staff the citizen
 advisory committee. It made the citizen
 committee autonomous, and the
 participants have found it very satisfactory.
 The committee is reportedly well
 organized, and is able to exercise power
 and affect major decisions including
 consultant selection. (The policy advisory
 committee in the same State is staffed by
 an organization of municipalities rather
 than by the State agency.)
  Informal staff contacts may be more
 important for State committees because of
 having meetings of the full committee.
 Meetings are more difficult to arrange.
  A State agency should consider
 annually inviting one or two
 representatives of each of the areawide
 agencies to meet with the  State
 committee, on State issues and how they
 affect local goals and activities. Nuts and
 bolts conferences can be useful, too—
 howto conduct meetings,  how to get
 publicity, etc. At least one State has been
doing this.





 For Areawide


    Sec. 101 (e) of the Federal Water
    Pollution Control Act Amendments of
 1972, PL 92-500, provides:
 "Public participation in the development,
 revision, and enforcement of any
 regulation,  standard, effluent limitation,
 plan, or program established by the
 Administrator or any State under this Act
 shall be provided for, encouraged, and
 assisted by the Administrator and the
 Clearly, this is a broad requirement, and it
 is being interpreted broadly by EPA at
 headquarters and in the regions.
  There are many specific regulations
 relating to public participation. The
 general ones are contained in 40 CFR
 105, and those relating to 208 planning
 are mostly in 40 CFR 130. There are few
 specific requirements for advisory
 committees, but provisions concerning
 assistance to the public and consultation
 are particularly relevant. The Rules and
 Regulations (40 CFR 130) require policy
 advisory committees.

 40 CFR 130.16(c) specifies that
 "... a policy advisory committee (s) shall
 be established to advise the responsible
planning or implementing agency during
 the development and implementation of
the plan on broad policy matters,
including the fiscal, economic, and social
impacts of the plan... "

Sec. 130.16(d)adds
 "The policy advisory committee for
designated areawide planning areas shall
include representatives of the U.S.
Departments of Agriculture, Army, and the
Interior, and such other Federal and local
agencies as maybe appropriate in the
opinion of EPA, the State(s), and the
designated areawide planning agency."

  The Draft Guidelines for Water Quality
Management Program Development
(WQM) add that, as a result of an
agreement between the agencies,
"... the designated area planning
committee must create a policy advisory
committee, with representatives of the
Departments of Agriculture, Interior and
Army invited to participate.

"... A special effort should be made to
include representatives of agencies
responsible for other environmental
programs being conducted in the
planning area..."

"... In addition to Pol icy Advisory
Committee, citizen advisory committees
should be established. It is unlikely that
adequate citizen input will be obtained
solely through the Pol icy Advisory
Committee. Citizens can provide valuable
inputs throughout the planning process.
Their participation should be actively
encouraged."(P. 4-9, 4-10)
  The use of  existing policy advisory
committees is actively encouraged in Sec.
130-16(c)ofthe Rules and Regulations.
The Draft Guidelines also emphasize that
"... It is important.. . that
representatives of the planning agencies
responsible for various programs be
included in any advisory group which
might be created to ensure periodic
consultation between the agencies." (P.

For States

I n addition to general requirements
I above, there are some provisions
specifically addressed to States.

40 CFR 130.16(c) provides that
"The State shall provide a mechanism for
meaningful and significant results from
local, State, interstate and Federal units of
government. As an element of this
mechanism, a policy advisory
committee(s) shall be established to
advise the responsible planning or
implementing agency during the
development and implementation of the
plan on broad policy matters, including
the fiscal,  economic, and social impacts of
the plan. Usi of existing policy advisory
committees is encouraged: however as a
minimum, this policy advisory committee
shall include a rra  rity membership of
representatives o   ,iof etec-i id officials of
local units of government."
The Regional Administrator may make
exceptions to this arrangement provided
there is no substantial disagreement from
the affected local jurisdictions.

The Draft Guidelines expand upon this
"... The States should exercise
discretion and imagination in setting up
advisory committee structures and
procedures that best contribute to
developing implementable water quality
"... While the regulations only require
one advisory group, it is strongly
recommended that at least one advisory
group be established for each planning
area. Representatives from Federal land
managing agencies should be included
on such committees where Federal lands
constitute a significant part of the
planning area. The advisory committee
should meet with the agency responsible
for the State WQM Plan in order to discuss
and make recommendations on each of
the following overall steps of planning:
review of the EPA/State Agreement,
establishment of objectives and analysis
of problems, analysis of abatement
measures and controls, consideration of
alternatives, and plan selection.
"..  Each advisory group should make
any recommendations it feels appropriate
to the planning agency responsible for the
State WQM Plan in its area. The planning
agency director should inform the
advisory group of his actions with the
advisory group recommendations." (P.

The Draft Guidelines also provide:
"  .. It is important.. .  that
representatives of the planning agencies
responsible for various programs be
included in any advisory group which
might be created to ensure periodic
consultation between the agencies. The
Part 130 regulations require the
establishment of at least one policy
advisory committee. Representatives of
programs with a major relationship to the
State WQM Plan should be members of
any advisory committees which are used."
(P. 12-3)

   Although most areawide water quality
    management agencies and States
have organized policy advisory and other
committees, additional committees might
be desired. The following guidance covers
points on organizing or reorganizing

Types of

    Committees may be made up of
    representatives of organized groups
who are likely to be interested in the plan;
people who are connected with or have
certain interests, although they may not
officially represent those interests;
individuals who want to participate, or a
combination of two or all of these. Each
has advantages and disadvantages.

Organizational representatives are
expected to report on what is going on in
the committee, and with the  plan to the
groups they represent. They are also
expected to report to the committee the
concerns and interests of their groups.
Ideally, they should have authority to
speak for their agencies or groups
officially in any committee action.
  The chief advantage of this member is
this ability to speak for a broader
constituency. The organization
commitment should help make all its
members partisans of the finished plan.
Committee members also act as
advocates of their constituencies. And, a
major function of each committee member
is to help get his or her group involved in
the process.
  There are several disadvantages.
Organizational representatives may not
communicate (either to or from) with their

 organizations as much or as well as would
 be desirable. (The agency can monitor the
 feedback process, and if necessary, help
 members with the reporting.) Committee
 members may not be able to speak
 definitively for their organizations.
   Membership may or may not be truly
 representative of community views. It is
 difficult to assure representation of all
 interests. Some organizations may feel
 participation will compromise their
 independence from the finished plan,  or
 they want to be free  to take legal action
 later. Another disadvantage is that in
 volunteer organizations the necessary
 mechanics—timely  board or membership
 meetings for information exchange on
 committee matters, and specific
 mechanisms for reporting—often are

 Interest Representation
 This is similar, but less formal. Committee
 members are chosen for their known
 interests—professional,  employment,
 organizational membership, or public
 statements—but are not  expected to
 formally represent any particular group.
 (Citizens can represent their vocational or
 avocational interests). Examples are
 developers, industrialists, fishermen, and
   In this case, discussion and decisions
 may be less inhibited since organizations
 are not put on the spot. But there is no
 assurance that others besides the
 individuals on the committee will become
 informed or involved. There is also the
 difficulty of identifying the one who can be
 most effective. Support for implementation
 of the plan depends on how accurately the
 members reflect the "public"  interest.

 Open Membership
 Here,  anyone who comes to meetings and
 abides by the committee rules (such as
 regular attendance) becomes a member.
   Such a system avoids the accusation of
 elitism, and demonstrates the openness of
 the process. But there is  no assurance of
 balance. Size is unpredictable—the
 committee might be big and unwieldy, or
 too small to be useful. Few agencies
 operate on an open membership basis,
 most common is a combination.

 Most agencies have a combination of
 member types. Although  some agencies
 invite volunteers and then augment them
with people from groups that did not come
   Problem:  "A known troublemaker has
   volunteered. Do we have to accept him?"
   Suggestion:  Rejecting him may lead
   to  more trouble than  accepting him
   Strong agency and chairperson leader-
   ship and cooperation from other commit-
   tee members should be able to minimize
   the problem
  Having a committee with some
"official" representatives along with
others who are only vaguely
representative can create some other
problems. A representative of a several
hundred-member organization may feel
that his voice ought to be worth more than
that of an individual.
  Another consideration is that people
often wear more than one hat. One person
could, for example, represent the Sierra
Club,  League of Women Voters, taxpaying
homeowners—and women—but all those
interests might not fee/ represented by
that one person.
  Geographical distribution is also
important. And consider other elements of
balance - race, sex, age,  income level. If
all parts of society are not represented,
problems could emerge later. It's
especially important for a citizen advisory
committee not to leave out some segment
of the community.
  In case of doubt, first identify the groups
that you know about. Then ask them to
suggest others. When you start getting
duplicate suggestions you can assume
that you have probably covered all the
Selecting the
  ndividual members should be productive
  and work well together, as well as
(preferably) be representative.
  The regulations encourage the use of
existing groups. However, they may be too
busy to devote proper attention to 208
planning, or, they may have some conflicts
because of other issues. On the other
hand, the use of an existing group can
help with coordination with other
programs—coastal zone planning or water
supply planning. Most existing
committees have to be augmented to meet
the requirements of the regulations.
  There are several methods of selecting
Organizational Selection
Groups are asked to pick their own
representatives. The process should
produce the person the organization feels
is most qualified but a drawback is that it
may also take a long time for the group to
make an "official" choice.

Agency Selection
If you pick the people yourself, you will be
sure to get the ones you want but it might
seem self-serving, particularly if some
"obvious" people are left out.

Third Party Selection
The agency can ask a respected neutral
group or individual to choose committee

Group Nomination
This is similar to organization selection,
except that groups nominate prospective
members;  then the agency chooses from
the nominees. This gives both the
participating groups and the agency some
choice. It can be time-consuming but, if
time allows, this method may be best.

First, one individual or organization who
agrees to serve is selected. That person
selects the second, together they select
the next, and so on. This requires careful
selection of the right individual in the
beginning, and specific agency
instructions regarding the representation
desired. This method insulates the agency
from any charge of manipulation.

Persuading People to Serve
Sometimes it is hard to persuade some of
the most needed people, such as key
community leaders, to join the committee.
If prospective members are invited by
letter, there should always be follow-up
telephone  calls to answer their questions
and stir up enthusiasm.
  When people are reluctant, urge them
to come to one meeting to see how
interesting, important, and efficient the
activity will be. Favorable publicity about
the committee, stressing the vital tasks it
will be performing, may help.
  In  some areas, being a member of such
an advisory committee is considered an
honor, and is sought. If committees do
credible work, and it is appropriately
acknowledged by the agencies, this will
be true everywhere!

    Committee leadership to a great extent
    determines the success of a
committee. "Leadership is vital", said one
agency official. "We first identified people
who could run meetings and force out
  There are several different ways of
choosing the leadership.

Selection by Governing
This method means that the chairperson is
selected and then helps select other
people on the committee.
  It's probably best not to have the
chairperson strongly identified with one
competing interest, although this can
work in some cases.

Member Election
This is democratic, and shows that the
agency is not controlling the selection.
However, it cannot be done until the
'whole committee is in place. And it may
not result in choice of the most effective
leader. Members may be strangers and
voting may be done on the  basis of name
familiarity, popularity, or some other
irrelevant characteristic.

Temporary Selection
The governing body/agency may select a
chairperson for a specific period of time,
then have member election. This assures
eventual choice by the members, but it
may be painful to change, and may cause
            This assumes that there are several
            potential leaders, and avoids some
            conflict in the selection or election but it
            can disrupt continuity.

            Agency Chairing
            Chairing by an agency person can be
            done in the beginning for a short time, or
            in emergencies, but should be limited.

            Committee Size

            and Structure

            One study shows committee membership
            varies from 2 to 250! The average,
            however, is between 25 and 75.
              Five to ten people is generally
            considered best for good discussion and
            interaction in a group. However, keep in
            mind that it is seldom that all members will
            attend. Some consultants report that it
            takes a group of 30-40 to end up with the
            desired 5 to 10.

            A committee may be organized by first
            deciding on needed subcommittees,
            appointing them, and adding them up into
            the full committee.  Or, one can first
            organize the whole committee and then
            divide it into subcommittees. An executive
            or steering committee may also be
  One agency gave members a choice of
subcommittee they wished to serve on
with the leadership and staff making the
final decisions.

Subcommittee Functions
Subcommittees can be determined even
after the committee has been constituted.
Some ways to structure subcommittees
are by:

•  Plan component (nonpoint source
management, point source, stormwater,
land disposal)

•  Impact: economic, social,

•  Process: technical, policy,

•  Geography sub-basin, political
b undary

It is advisable to have an interest balance
on each subcommittee. This minimizes
the policy battles that may ha/e to be
brought out in the full committee.

Special Considerations
"Some advisory committees are so
elaborate that they fail," said one agency
person. "The main thing  is to have it run
by one good, politically astute person."
There is a danger in organizing too many
committees at once, with all the staff help
they need to be successful.
  Foryour information organization charts
of some 208 agencies and their
committee and subcommittee structures
                                                  POLICY BOARD
    Citizen Advisory
                      208 Program Agency
               '"Technical Advisory
         Land Use

     Economic Dev.

      Fiscal and
   Institutional Mgt.
 Local Municipal
Waste Management


Industrial Wastes

Technical Advisory
                                                    POLICY COMMITTEE
                                                      - Project Staff
                                                       (Contract Areas)
                                                                              . MC-COS/DD Support
                                                                              Citizens Advisory
                                 POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Technical Advisory

Study Advisory

Conservation Groups
Puhiir Subcommittees
                          Participation Programs

Dial f
est Steering Committee
jps 1
^_ Institutional AHvicr,n
                                                    Operations Committee
                                             Solid Waste

                                       Land Use Planning •

                          Surface Water Quality & Resources

                                         Nonpoint Source •

                                     Environmental Quality
                                     Implementation-Management, Legal & Finance

                                     Public Participation .


                                     Population & Economy
                                                        Technical Committees

                                                 AREAWIDE PLANNING
                                                 ADVISORY COMMITTEE
                                             Government Agencies
                                            Advisory Representatives
     Economic &
Industrial Development
                                                 Citizen Subcommittees
                                                 POLICY COMMITTEE
                                208 Interstate
                            Coordinating Committee
                              Environmental Agency
                              Advisory Committee
                                      Task Force
                                                                        (Public Meetings)
 Point Source
               Non point Source
                             Management/ Institutional/
                                Fiscal Committee

Bishop, A. Bruce. Public Participation in Water
Resources P/anrong. U.S  Army Engineer Institute for
Water Resources, Alexandria, Virginia, 1970

Theory of public participation and models for achieving
it Includes material on citizen advisory groups

Copp, H.D. Morn Responsive; Water Planning Is
Possible. Washington Slale University, R  L. Albrook
Hydraulic Laboratory, Pullman, 1973

Based on studies of water planning and management
in Washington Ihis paper suggests a number of
procedures, including Ihe use of advisory groups

Corwin, Beverly, and Susan Hall.  "White Paper".
208 Cili/en Involvement. Clean Water Project League
of Women Voters ol Seallle under contract to Region X,
U.S Environmental Protection Agency. Seallle,
Washington, 1976, (Unpublished drafl.)
A supplement to the Public Participation Handbook lor
Water Quality Management, designed to specify the
philosophy and goals of Region X regarding public
participation Includes material on advisory
commitlees, and questions for self-evaluation of
Cuyahoga County Regional Planning
Commission, Study Design for a Regional Water and
Sewer Plan. Cleveland, Ohio, August 1971

A brief desciiption of a local plan which includes
citizen participation particularly through advisory

Davis, G. D. "The Commission Form of Policy
Determination Is the Public Involved7" Proceedings ot
the Symposium on Social and Economic Aspects of
Water Resources Development. Cornell University,
Ithaca, New York, June21-23.1971.

A short history of the Adirondack Study Commission
and associated bodies, including a discussion of the
advantages to administrators, as well as problems that
may arise, of a commission which makes

Emerson, Patricia H.  Overview of Citizen
Participation. Prepared by the League of Women
Voters of Washington for Municipality of Metropolitan
Seattle,  U.S Army Corps of Engineers, and
Washington State Department of Ecblogy Seattle,
Washington, 1975
Among the specific aspects of citizen participation
studied here were th ree advisory commitlees. Their
problems and successes are noted.

Environmental Comment Urban Land Institute, 1200.
18th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C 20036 January
This issue of this monthty publication is devoted to 208
planning Several of the articles are of interest in
relation to advisory committees, especially "Citizen
Participation in the 208 Program" by Marvin S Gilman,
the chairperson of the New Castle County (Delaware)
advisory committee

Erie I, M .0. The Participatory Role of Citizen Advisory
Groups in New England Water Resource Planning' A
Preliminary Study. Water Resources Research Center,
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts,
Surveys and evaluates several citizen advisory groups
in New England, with suggestions for the future.
Felton, P.M. "Case Study Stimulating Community
Involvement Bringing to Public Decision Makers the
Poml of View of Private Citizens " Proceedings ol the
Symposium on Social and Economic Aspects ol Water
Resources Development, Cornell University. Ithaca
NewYork. June21-23.  1971
Discussion of the Wafer Resources Association of the
Delaware River Basin, with suggestions for
improvement in community involvement in water
resources planning, including establishment of
representative citizen advisory groups.

Gates, Clare.  Profile ol208 Agencies U S
Environmental Protection Agency Washington, DC ,
1976 (Unpublished.)

This paper  provides a useful survey of 25 208
agencies' advisory committees—types of committees,
who serves on them, and what are their purposes
Many organizalion charts are included, as well  as
names and addresses of contact persons

Gleckner,  Christine. The Costs of Public Participation
in the Newcastle CountyAreawide Waste Treatment
Management Program.  New Castle County Areawide
Waste Treatment Management Program, One
Peddler's Row, Peddler's Village, Newark, Delaware
19711 1975

Detailed accounting for public participation costs of
Ihe agency Since almost all of the participation to date
has been through advisory committees, this paper
offers some reasonable benchmarks.

Gleckner,  Christine, and James Owen. Public
Participation in the New Castle County Areawide
Waste Treatment Management Program. Newcastle
County Areawide Waste Treatment Management
Program, 1975. See above for address

A brief overview ol the goals and objectives,
organization and operation of this program, which
relies primarily on advisory committees.

Hanchey, James R. Public Involvement in the Corps
of Engineers Planning Process. U.S. Army Engineer
Institute for Water Resources,  FortBelvoir, Virginia,
A manual on public participation for Corps personnel.
Includes helpful section on advisory groups.

McGinnis, E.S. Power Plant Siting—Social/Political
Considerations. Northern States Power Co.,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1971.

Experience of a private power company in establishing
an advisory group to help choose a site for a
gene rating plant

McKenzie, Linda, ed.  The Grass Roots and Water
Resources Management. Washington State Water
Research Center, Pullman, 1972.

Proceedings of a symposium on all aspects of public
participation including the use of advisory groups

North Central Texas Council of Governments. Our
Natural Resources- Let's Talk Clean Water' Annual
Public Participation Program for Water Quality
Management Planning 1976-77. North Central  Texas
Council of Governments, P.O.  Drawer COG, Arlington,
Texas 76011. 1976

Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission.
Revised Public Participation Work Element. 1975.

A'detai led discussion of the public participation
program of this large metropolitan agency, including
much information on its advisory committee
organization and also including budget figures.

Ragan, JamesF., Jr. Public Participation in Water
Resources Planning: An Evaluation of the Programs of
15 Corps of Engineers  Districts.  U.S. Army Engineer
InstituteforWaterResources, FortBelvoir, Virginia,

A general and detailed study of Corps public
participation program,  including evaluations and
recommendations. Part of the material deals with
advisory committees.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Citizen
Involvement in OCPC 208 Planning. A Progress
Report Washington. D C . 1976

A complete documentation of the Old Colony Planning
Council's citizen involvement program, including
advisory committee activities, quantified as much as is

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Draft
Guidelines lor State and Areawide Water Quality
Management Program Development Washington,
D.C, 1976
Contains specific requirements for advisory
committees along with many other things.

U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency. National
Profile of Section 208 Areawide Management Planning
Agencies Washington, D.C, 1975.

Useful listing and statistics of 208 agencies which
includes some information on their public participation
programs including advisory committees.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Public
Participation Handbook for Water Quality
Management. Washington, D.C., 1976.

This handbook contains advice on all aspects of citizen
participation specifically related to EPA requirements.
Information and examples of advisory committees are

Widditsch, An n. Public Workshops on the Puget
Sound and Adjacent Waters Study An Evaluation. U.S.
Army Engineer Institute for Water Resources,
Alexandria, Virginia, 1972.

This case study has information and recommendations
relevant to advisory group management.