Title: Utilising a national protocol for collaboration on environmental problems in Ireland: the Silvermines case

Authors: Carrie Garavan, Barbara Gray

Addresses: EPA Research and Innovation Programme (STRIVE) 2007-2013, EM_015, University of Limerick, Lmerick, Ireland. ' Management and Organization Department, Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Abstract: This paper presents a case study of the collaborative process introduced by The National Protocol for the Investigative Approach to Serious Animal/Human Health Issues in Ireland. Dust blows from a large tailings management facility in a former mining area coupled with the deaths of cattle from Pb poisoning resulted in activation of the protocol, establishment of an Inter-Agency Group (IAG) and initiation of an environmental investigation. While the study found that all of the participants in the interagency collaboration found it an overall success, the collaboration|s most significant outcomes were identification of the problem (environmental Pb contamination), implementation of the 39 recommendations and finally remediation of the contaminated sites. The case study highlights four issues related to managing collaborations of this type that have not been adequately addressed in previous research: 1) simultaneously assessing and mitigating the hazard; 2) promoting interagency coordination; 3) engaging with and garnering participation from the community during the consensus-building process; 4) cultivating agency leadership in collaborative efforts. The case offers those faced with human or animal health issues due to environmental contamination a model and conceptual framework of key issues to consider in designing such collaborations.

Keywords: environmental contamination; national protocol; inter-agency collaboration; community participation; consensus building; agency leadership; Ireland; animal health; human health; dust; tailings management; mining; cattle deaths; lead poisoning; remediation; contaminated sites; environmental pollution; hazard assessment; hazard mitigation; Silvermines.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSBA.2011.040888

International Journal of Strategic Business Alliances, 2011 Vol.2 No.3, pp.221 - 242

Published online: 26 Jun 2011 *

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