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E-M:/ RE: / DEQ Public Participation

Having once before experienced a process precisely like that being used now by the DEQ, only from the other side, I can tell you that the desired outcome was to muffle the debate and soften the hard edges of public particpation. It's largely a media strategy meant to give the government even more of an upper hand in managing the story by removing open conflict from meetings and hearings that are often covered by the press. 
Whether it works or not in the short term for the DEQ may depend on whether we, the public, work smarter.  In the long run the gang that gave us these new rules will be subjected to the outcome of a rather messy and open public particpation process called elections.