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Bigger and Better Alliances Partnerships Make Redevelopment

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					Corporate and Community
Partnerships:
Making Redevelopment
Happen in
Arkwright, South
Carolina




             USEPA Community Involvement Conference
                      Panel Presentation
                        July 22, 2003
Rhodia: Why we are here. . .
   “It’s a New Day” -- industry and community
    partnerships offer a viable way to achieve
    mutually beneficial goals

   To tell you about our Spartanburg, South
    Carolina facility

   To share about our ongoing dialogue with
    ReGenesis and efforts to revitalize the
    Arkwright community

   To share our challenges and successes, and
    offer lessons learned
Rhodia: A Corporate Overview
   North American headquarters in
    Cranbury, New Jersey

   Rhodia's North American operations rank
    among the top 10 specialty chemical companies
    (in sales) headquartered outside the United
    States

   Approximately 2,700 employees at 25
    manufacturing sites in North America
    The Rhodia Spartanburg Facility
   Makes ingredients for home and health care
    products:
     Huggies™ baby wipes
     Purex™ laundry detergent
     Dawn™ dishwashing liquid

   Employs 60 men
    and women

   Operated since 1977;
    became Rhodia in 1998

   Located close to Arkwright fence line neighbors
Rhodia’s Environmental Commitment




                         1999 Governor’s
                    Pollution Prevention
                                  Award
Health, Safety and
Environmental Record
   Upgrade of wastewater pretreatment facility
    has eliminated the need for off-site disposal
    of wastewater treatment by-products

   Installed automatic computerized shut-down
    system that responds to leaks to prevent
    airborne releases
Learning About the Community and
Addressing Its Concerns
   Even with a strong health, safety and
    environmental record, residents were still
    concerned about plant safety/potential effects
    on nearby neighbors
   Residents cited a 20 plus-year history of little
    direct contact between the facility and Arkwright
    neighbors
   To learn more about the issues and address
    community concerns, Rhodia began working
    with community leaders almost three years ago
The Dialogue Process
with ReGenesis
   Ongoing for nearly 3 years
   Participants include ReGenesis Board members,
    EPA, Rhodia representatives
   Independent, third-party facilitator
   Weekly telephone conference calls
   Periodic face-to-face meetings
   Agenda topics developed by consensus
Rhodia’s Commitment
to the Community
   Community open house (Fall 2001 & Fall 2003
    planned)
   Chemistry Connection
   Thanksgiving dinner contributions
   Support to the Local Emergency Planning
    Committee’s efforts to develop and distribute
    shelter-in-place information (Fall 2002)
   Supported and participated in emergency
    response exercise (Spring 2003)
Rhodia’s Commitment
to the Community
   Work with Spartanburg County Sheriff’s
    Department
       Support to Community Cleanup Day
       Offer to support Department’s initiative to make
        improvements to Arkwright Park
       Onsite security survey by Department to suggest
        improvements at the plant
   Work closely with local fire departments
       Provide support for combined training
       Hosted 30 fire fighters to review
        emergency response plans
       Purchased equipment for Arkwright FD
Rhodia’s Commitment
to the Community
   Involved in planning of community-wide
    emergency response drill for Arkwright residents
    in Spring 2003
       Effort led by the Spartanburg County Local Emergency
        Planning Committee
       Planning involved ReGenesis, community residents,
        emergency responders, CSX, Rhodia and local media
       Discussed “lessons learned” to improve future
        exercises
       Spring 2004 target for next exercise
Rhodia’s Commitment
to the Community
   Implementing Responsible Care community
    awareness practices
       Provide training for employees who communicate
        with community neighbors about health, safety and
        environmental issues
       Senior personnel provide updates to employees
        regarding the ongoing dialogue with ReGenesis
        and community redevelopment efforts
       Employee volunteers assist in providing safety
        information to the community through door-to-door
        notices
Rhodia’s Commitment
to the Community
   Supporting community redevelopment effort
       Alternate access route construction support
       Participating partner in overall process

   Addressing odor concerns
       Forming odor patrol with neighborhood residents
       Studying odor mitigation options at plant
Rhodia’s Commitment
to the Community
   Studying plant beautification options
       Responding to neighbors concerns about plant
        visibility
       Beautification design studies are being conducted
        to dovetail with overall community redevelopment
        efforts
Rhodia’s Commitment
to the Community
   Contributing to a regular community
    newsletter
   Hired part-time community liaison
   Greater focus on employment from within the
    community
       Strengthened recruiting efforts (4 Arkwright
        residents currently employees)
       Summer intern program
Successes
   The dialogue continues; we’re still “at the table”
   ReGenesis review of voluntary air monitoring
    program
   ReGenesis review of voluntary groundwater
    sampling results
   Rhodia being brought into redevelopment efforts
Challenges
   Building trust
   Reaching consensus
   Wider community participation
   Effectively conveying to local residents the
    facility’s involvement and support of the
    redevelopment process
   Deciding the most effective use of facility
    resources to assist community efforts
Lessons Learned
   Community dialogue requires a long term,
    collaborative approach with many
    stakeholders
   The facilitated dialogue process is proving to
    be an effective tool
   Sometimes the best you can achieve is to
    “agree to disagree” -- then move on to an
    issue with a greater chance of success
   In order to make progress, a high level of
    patience and willingness to listen with an
    open mind are imperative
Closing Thoughts
                                     
   Participation in Responsible Care is key to
    an overall community relations effort
   A strong safety and environmental record
    does not necessarily translate into
    community acceptance of your facility
   It requires partnering with stakeholders who
    are potentially impacted by your facility
   Additional efforts must include active
    participation in planning and implementing
    community-based initiatives

				
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