Public participation is critical in protecting public health, safeguarding our communities and building a sustainable future. There are many cases in which the public will have the opportunity to submit comments on a new project, permit, or proposed rule. If a decision affects you, your community or your environment, it is important to provide your perspective through submitting public comments. Useful input from the public is a vital part of ensuring equitable and responsible decision making.
These comments can often be submitted online or a printed copy can be mailed to the appropriate agency address. Below you will find a few tips for writing public comments, however not all of the tips will be applicable to every situation. On the following page you will find a template that may be helpful as you develop your own comments.
TIPS FOR WRITING EFFECTIVE PUBLIC COMMENTS
- Clearly identify the specific item you are commenting on (Company Name and/or the name of the facility, Activity Interest Number [AI#] and Activity Tracking Number [PER#]). Keep your comments relevant to this item.
- Address your comments to the appropriate agency contact as supplied in the request for public comments.
- Clearly state whether you oppose or support the item you are commenting on.
- Explain how this item effects you and your community. Be sure to clearly identify who you are and any relevant credentials you may have.
- Describe any concerns you have as clearly as possible.
- If you have or are familiar with any data(scientific reports, studies, petitions, polls, etc.) relevant to the item you are commenting on that you feel should be considered, include it and include it’s source. Your own personal observations and knowledge are also valuable and should be included.
- If there are specific laws, regulations, statutes or ordinances that are relevant to your comments, be sure to list them clearly by name and how they apply to this situation. If you feel the proposed item is illegal or in conflict with a particular regulation, state that clearly.
- Offer solutions or appropriate alternatives that would address any concern you outlined in your comments.
- Be professional and respectful in your comments. Do NOT use expletives, make personal accusations or attacks.
- SUBMIT YOUR COMPLETED COMMENTS BEFORE THE DEADLINE.
The Louisiana Citizens’ Guide To Environmental Engagement