This project was jointly convened by Colorado and New Mexico with the support of other federal, state and tribal partners. The Four Corners Air Quality Task Force was conceived as a broadly representative stakeholder forum to address pressing air quality issues in the Four Corners area.
RRC was hired to develop a process that would accommodate the two-year timeframe and the open meeting format while accomplishing the primary objective: a written report of mitigation options for air pollution by the Task Force members.
This highly successful collaborative process involved more than 250 volunteers representing local residents, public interest groups, industry, and local, tribal, state and federal government representatives. This diverse group wrote a 550-page report describing 125 mitigation options as well as key findings on air quality monitoring and a major inventorying and modeling effort. This material will support the agencies in managing air quality for years to come and is the basis for cooperative planning efforts in the area.
RRC developed and implemented an equitable, efficient and participatory process that was able to maintain its momentum over the two and a half years. Additionally, RRC was responsible for all aspects of Task Force communication including onsite meeting management, website management, supporting materials development, meeting records, working sub-groups progress, and the development of the Report format and drafts. In addition, RRC designed an on-going comment process whereby all Task Force members and other interested parties could provide input as the Report was developed; this culminated in a web-based review process for the final draft.
Click here to visit the website for the Four Corners Air Quality Task Force, or download the report here.
The states of New Mexico and Wyoming needed to develop first-ever Smoke Management Programs as part of their State Implementation Plans and compliance with the Regional Haze Rule. Both states have significant prescribed fire, agricultural burning and other sources of smoke that had been unregulated to that time. Both states anticipated the possibility of resistance to the development of their Smoke Management Programs.
RRC was hired first by New Mexico to design, manage and facilitate the collaborative process with the many stakeholders with vested interests in their Smoke Management Program. RRC's success in New Mexico led to a similar assignment in Wyoming. In both cases, RRC provided neutral agency and the ability to convene processes that were inclusive, productive and in the end, highly effective. Both states developed Smoke Management Programs with the support of stakeholders and passed new regulations to enforce them, thus ensuring the improvement of air quality for future generations. RRC worked hand-in-hand with staff in the drafting of the Program Guidance and developing the processes, procedures and forms to make the Programs efficient.
WRAP is a collaborative effort of tribal and state government and federal agencies to develop the technical and policy tools needed by western states and tribes to comply with the U.S. EPA's regional haze regulations. The Fire Emissions Joint Forum (FEJF) is both a policy and a technical body that addresses issues specific to fire and smoke effects. For several major issues, the FEJF convened sub-committees to develop guidance documents to be used by States in their implementation plans.
RRC was hired to manage and facilitate three of these sub-groups over a two-year period. Each group’s membership included not only government representatives, but also environmental groups, public health groups, industry, academia and others. In addition, RRC was responsible for public outreach, and designed and facilitated two major workshops at which broader stakeholder input was gathered. RRC also drafted all of the Meeting Records and final documents, as well as compendia of proceedings and progress on document development.
As a result of RRC management, the sub-groups were able to come to a much greater level of agreement that anticipated, and the guidance document became policy documents. RRC oversaw the development of the first-ever WRAP-approved Policy Documents: the Fire Emissions Categorization Policy, the Enhanced Smoke Management Program Policy, and the Annual Emission Goal Policy. These documents are used by states in developing their implementation plans and in managing smoke impacts affecting public health and visibility.
The following documents are available on the WRAP website, or you can download them below: