Established in Maryland in 2001, EcoLogix Group was founded on a vision of helping those engaged in meeting the region’s needs for efficient transportation, energy and industrial infrastructure succeed with their projects through a different approach to public engagement.
At that time Maryland was (and remains) a State with a strong and increasing policy focus on environmental stewardship, embodied in the restoration of Chesapeake Bay. Many physical development projects at the time were experiencing significant delays through challenges and opposition by local communities and environmental groups. This was especially true in the transportation sector. Concerns about alignments delayed major transit projects. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement met delays on the basis of insufficient consideration of alternatives. Baltimore-Washington International Airport was sued by environmental groups over pollution concerns. Opposition that made environmental approvals unlikely halted an Inter-county Connector project, the highway transportation centerpiece of Maryland’s Governor.
At the Port of Baltimore, contentious relations with local and regional environmental organizations and many citizens hampered the Port in finding additional placement options for material dredged from the channels that provide access for deep draft cargo vessels. Proposals for open water placement of dredged material became extremely controversial. Rhetoric overwhelmed the science, and ultimately several viable options were rejected by elected officials.
Among the many stakeholders engaged in these matters, four associates witnessed events from the multiple vantage points of environmental advocacy, industrial consulting and environmental regulation. Recognizing there had to be a better way of reaching solutions on intersecting economic, environmental and community conflicts surrounding important infrastructure projects, these four individuals formed EcoLogix Group, Inc. in the spring of 2001.
While the public participation requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) were well understood and adhered to, the EcoLogix model recognized that better outcomes could be achieved when all stakeholders on a project were engaged at the very earliest stages of project development. In other words, when the problem was taken to stakeholders – and stakeholders were asked to help identify the best solutions – better outcomes would be achieved. The best projects would be those that met not only the economic needs of the project sponsor, but also provided the best environmental and community outcomes for the affected stakeholders. The distinct advantage of this approach to project sponsors was reduced delay in regulatory approvals and reduced risk of unanticipated costs. The model continues to be effective for energy, transportation and industrial development projects – producing better social, environmental and economic outcomes.
Since its establishment in 2001, EcoLogix Group has continued to evolve as an environmental strategy firm specializing in high-level issue analysis and integrated solutions in support of large organizations wishing to be better neighbors and better stewards of the natural environment. The staff of EcoLogix is highly experienced in successfully addressing the type of challenges typically faced by such organizations; each of our principals has been there.