Mid Shore Community Mediation Center recently helped to facilitate a meeting of the Mid Atlantic Power Pathway’s Dorchester County Community Advisory Council (CAC). The nonprofit organization was chosen to assist the process at the recommendation of the Dorchester County Council.
The May 19 meeting was the second in a series of sessions to be held as part of the Maryland Public Service Commission’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) siting process. The CAC is composed of 31 individuals representing stakeholders who have an interest in the construction of a route for the high-voltage power lines proposed to crossDorchester County.
Representatives selected to serve on the Community Advisory Council were identified by the Dorchester County Council and Delmarva Power. The group will collaborate in finding a way to build the project so that the many interests surrounding it are best served.
Mediation Center Executive Director Peter Taillie and volunteer mediator Cynthia Jurrius facilitated the meeting. After a welcome from John J. Allen, Jr., Vice President of Delmarva Power Region, Taillie outlined the evening’s proceedings. During discussions, he kept the process moving forward by summarizing participants’ concerns, noting topics for further review and suggesting next steps.
Two experts from Pepco Holdings, Inc., made presentations outlining the permitting process for participants. Ray Bourland, Senior Legislative Counsel, reviewed the Public Service Commission’s licensing procedures. Mark Okonowicz, Lead Environmental Scientist, described the environmental permits involved.
The Advisory Council meeting was open to the public, with about fifty people attending. Guests had an opportunity to submit written questions. Taillie and Jurrius kept the process from becoming too lengthy by sorting the questions into those pertaining to the evening’s topics, which were then addressed, and other questions, which were saved for response at future meetings.
For Mid Shore Community Mediation Center, the session was an opportunity to demonstrate the no-cost services it offers in large-group facilitation for Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties. The Center also offers all types of cost-free mediation services for individuals and businesses.
“Parties to public issues may have strong feelings that can come into play during discussions,” said Taillie. “A neutral facilitator can make the proceedings flow more smoothly by summarizing viewpoints, and ensuring that everyone’s voices are heard and their concerns understood. “
For more information on mediation, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mediator, call Mid Shore Community Mediation Center at 410-820-5553 or visitwww.midshoremediation.org.