In early 2016, the BMP Project, in conjunction with CDR Associates, conducted interviews with a variety of stakeholders. The stakeholder assessment process included a dozen interviews with stakeholders, including state agency and regulatory staff, local governments, industry representatives, and others to learn from those who have negotiated or used MOUs.
Interview questions focused on four major topic areas:
- The context and background for MOU negotiations, including the local regulatory scheme and what brought parties to the table;
- The negotiation process itself, including the role (or lack thereof) of community engagement during the process;
- Implementation and enforcement of MOUs; and
- Perspectives on the substantive provisions of MOUs, including their BMPs.
The report summarizes project findings and is intended to identify the challenges and opportunities of developing and implementing MOUs. It also explores use of MOUs as a tool for addressing the interests of stakeholders while reducing conflict, political polarization and expensive, time-consuming legal battles with the state and industry over jurisdictional authority.
Stakeholder interviews suggested several “Next Steps” outlined in the report:
- Continued Stakeholder Dialogue
- Guidance Documents and Processes
- Ongoing Engagement with Communities
- MOU Policy Development
- MOU Information Repository
The BMP project hopes to host one or more workshops to share information from this research with assessment participants and others who have developed or are looking at developing MOUs.
Insights from the Field Toward an Understanding of Industry-Community MOUs