Public involvement is increasingly emphasized as part of government agencies’ responses to environmental health hazards, including health communication. There is a growing body of literature on health and risk communication proposing best practices and evaluating processes. Yet, there has been little attention to the ways that preferences for process features and criteria for evaluating success may vary among stakeholders and between stakeholders and government agency staff. We report on a study into how participants associated with an effort to address public health risks from the distribution of plutonium contaminated sewage sludge in Livermore, California think about the most appropriate way to conduct a process integrating public involvement. The implications for health communication and public involvement sponsored by federal and state agencies are discussed.