Modular Evaluation Method for Subsurface Activities (MEMSA). A novel approach for integrating social acceptance in a permit decision-making process for subsurface activities
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We investigate how the decision support system ‘Modular Evaluation Method Subsurface Activities’ (MEMSA) can help facilitate an informed decision-making process for permit applications of subsurface activities. To this end, we analyze the extent the MEMSA approach allows for a dialogue between stakeholders in a transparent manner. We use the exploration permit for the underground gas storage facility at the Pieterburen salt dome (Netherlands) as a case study. The results suggest that the MEMSA approach is flexible enough to adjust to changing conditions. Furthermore, MEMSA provides a novel way for identifying structural problems and possible solutions in permit decision-making processes for subsurface activities, on the basis of the sensitivity analysis of intermediate rankings. We suggest that the planned size of an activity should already be specified in the exploration phase, because this would allow for a more efficient use of the subsurface as a whole. We conclude that the host community should be involved to a greater extent and in an early phase of the permit decision-making process, for example, already during the initial analysis of the project area of a subsurface activity. We suggest that strategic national policy goals are to be re-evaluated on a regular basis, in the form of a strategic vision for the subsurface, to account for timing discrepancies between the realization of activities and policy deadlines, because this discrepancy can have a large impact on the necessity and therefore acceptance of a subsurface activity.
van Os , H , Herber , R & Scholtens , L J R 2017 , ' Modular Evaluation Method for Subsurface Activities (MEMSA). A novel approach for integrating social acceptance in a permit decision-making process for subsurface activities ' , Environmental Impact Assessment Review , vol. 64 , pp. 97-122 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2017.03.004
Environmental Impact Assessment Review
Copyright © 2017, Elsevier Inc. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2017.03.004
DescriptionWe thank the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs for the funding of our research and the complete freedom for executing our research.
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