During its July meeting, Fermilab's Community Task Force posed a question:
would public participation guidelines formulated for the laboratory also
obligate government agencies involved in future projects-including a
possible International Linear Collider?
"If the guidelines only apply to the lab, that could leave a big gap,"
said CTF member Craig Jones of St. Charles.
Judy Jackson, head of the lab's Office of Public Affairs, pointed to
Brookhaven National Laboratory's policy on public participation and its
influence on the process at Fermilab. She suggested that the CTF in turn
could set an example for the national laboratory system, and for the ILC.
"Right now, the Global Design Initiative is being put together for the proposed
ILC," Jackson said. "This is the time, early in the process, when we could fold
principles on public participation into the GDI, wherever the site may be."
Steve Holmes, Fermilab's Association Director for Accelerators and a member of
the US Linear Collider Steering Committee, endorsed the idea.
“I see no reason why this could not
happen in principle,” Holmes said. “However, some public participation
principles may be site-dependent.”
The initial goal of the GDI, commissioned by the International Linear Collider
Steering Committee, is to produce a Conceptual Design Report that defines the
ILC at the highest scientific and technical level. In the second phase, the GDI
will create the equivalent of a Technical Design Report to support a solid cost
estimate. (see Fermilab Today, Wednesday, July 21)
Fermilab's Community Task Force
was formed under a charge from Director Michael Witherell. The 21-member group,
drawn from civic, business and community representatives in DuPage, Kane and
DeKalb Counties, has been meeting monthly since March to develop a set of mutual
expectations for how Fermilab will interact with the community on issues affecting
the lab and its neighbors. The lab will use these recommendations to develop a
comprehensive policy for public participation, issuing a report in the fall.