Title: National Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Initiative (NAOMI)
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Proceedings of the Assissing Liabilities and Funding Options Workshop
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Reports > Lessons Learned Table of Contents > Executive Summary
> Acknowledgements
> Introduction > Methods


The Community Involvement Task Force of the National Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Working Group selected three case studies to be reviewed in this report. They included: 1) the Deloro Mine, Ontario; 3) the Giant Mine, Northwest Territories; and 3) the Mount Washington Mine, British Columbia. Additionally, U.S. examples of community involvement in contaminated site remediation were to be investigated. The timeframe allotted for this project was June 17, 2002 to July 15, 2002.

For the Canadian case studies, community contacts for each site were chosen to reflect a diversity of community perspectives. Attention was paid to ensure equitable representation from community members that were currently, or had previously been, involved in the formal process. Individuals who had not been involved in the formal process, but who resided in the affected area, were also included. Interviews were conducted with a representative selection of community and government (for example, community groups, First Nations, churches, and governments with regulatory or advisory roles, etc.).

Interviews were conducted based on two formats: a long interview and a short survey. Examples of the templates used for the long interview and short survey are found in Appendix A.

The long interviews covered a range of topics on community involvement in the remediation of contaminated sites. The list of interview questions was developed based on questions and subject areas recommended by the Community Involvement Task Force of the National Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Working Group. The questions were organized into the following categories: Site Background; Community Involvement Process; Community Involvement in Site Remediation and Related Work; and Long-term Outlook. Interviews took, on average, two hours to complete.

The short survey format was used to focus the discussion on the topic of community involvement and public perception of the remediation process. The survey used a series of questions that could be answered using a ranking system, as well as space to provide further comments. These surveys have been summarized in content, but no statistical analysis was conducted (the number of short surveys was not statistically significant). The short timeframe of the project limited the number of short surveys that could be conducted, as time was focused more on the in-depth interviews.


The contacts for each site are listed in Appendix C. Summaries for the interviews are compiled in Appendix D, without attribution (in order to maintain confidentiality of those interviewed). The summary chart lists all comments (which were weighted equally) from both the long and short interviews.

The case study analysis provided in the main text was compiled from the interview summaries and from literature review of relevant web sites, reports, documents, media and research papers. EPA analysis was derived from discussions with an EPA staff person; EPA Superfund case studies, and documents and information from EPA’s web site; and scholarly research on community involvement initiatives, including specific case studies on public participation in contaminated communities. Resource materials used in U.S. analysis have been referenced.

The discussion on “lessons learned” was based on a comparison between the experiences of the Canadian examples, experiences of the U.S. EPA and other U.S. case studies, and literature on community involvement at contaminated sites.

The evaluation process of this research was guided by the key principles set out in the scoping report prepared by CCSG Associates for the National Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Advisory Committee on community involvement in abandoned mine remediation2. These include factors that contribute to effective communication and decision-making, such as trust and respect, accountability, transparency, technical resources, training, capacity building, ownership, facilitation and equity.

Final recommendations have been provided to recognize the limitations of this study and suggest potential avenues for further evaluation.


While there is a vast literature on the distinction between public and community (community is generally a subset of public), we have chosen to use the terms public and community synonymously. Public participation and community involvement are also used interchangeably, to denote a process whereby individuals and groups may do one or more of the following: communicate; interact; exchange information; provide input around a particular set of issues, problems, or decisions; and influence or participate in decision-making.


Last updated: 2003-09-26

© National Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Initiative (NOAMI) 2004