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Video Town Hall

2010 February 19

An Inside Job

It wasn’t too long ago that I was working to improve human health and the environment from outside the government. Only a year ago, I was working with communities to redevelop properties at brownfield sites. When you’re outside the government, gaining access to the government officials who make decisions that affect your work can be a challenge. Now that I’m in the government, I have a chance to provide the access that’s so important to people and groups with environmental concerns. That’s why I’ve started a series of Video Town Hall discussions that will help me hear what you have to say.

Our first Video Town Hall was held in December, and I was very happy with the discussion that took place. The topic was the Superfund program, and we fielded questions from people and groups across the country. Our plan was to answer as many questions as time allowed, and I was pleased that we were able to answer every single question that we received.

Our next Video Town Hall will be held on February 23 from 1:30-3:00 PM Eastern Time. For this Town Hall, we plan to cover two topics.

First, we want to talk about how people and businesses can reduce their carbon footprint through reducing, reusing, and recycling. We all know that climate change is one of the great challenges facing our nation. Any effective strategy to fight climate change will require that we rethink the way that we buy new products and dispose of old products. I want to know how you’re fighting climate change through materials management, and what my office can do to help you reduce your carbon footprint.

The second topic is EPA’s upcoming environmental justice analysis of the Definition of Solid Waste Rule. We recently began seeking input on our draft plan, and we’d like to know what you think.

There are two ways to participate in the Town Hall: over the internet or by phone. You can send questions to townhallquestions@epa.gov before or during the discussion, and we’ll also take a few questions from the phone toward the end of the call. All the information you need to participate is available on our Video Town Hall page.

I know that people outside of the government have important things to say about the environment; they just need someone to listen. Now that I’m the guy on the inside, that’s what I intend to do.

About the author: Mathy Stanislaus is EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    February 20, 2010

    After I read your post, I think that enough difficult to inform world problem, especially climate change, to those people in our planet. EPA, since 1970, has begun to solve this problem, and now, 2010, starts new idea, video town hall. I understand your heavy challenged. So, your spirit is useful to be exampled for developing countries in this planet. They can’t realize your idea, because some problems, example: poor people, not understand, and some provinces/districts regulation for their benefit budget. Survival, is the key word of their life purpose. If we compare of the budget both you and them, cries rise from me. Minim budget, but much peoples, and corruption of our Leader. So, if we see from here, your video town hall, is amazing. Good luck, Mathy and friends…!

  2. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    February 21, 2010

    This will be hugely valuable because it seems like one of the central problems there has been is a disconnect between the environmental policies and public participation and input in policy making process from the beginning of the development process. Usually, public comment does not happen to any significant degree until a regulatory proposal gets to the federal register stage and by that time, the policy has been developed and is waiting for final approval. So the Townhall is one way to get public input at an early stage, and with public input on proposals will come increased public support of the proposals. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  3. Jay Kilby permalink
    February 22, 2010

    Please support our effort to get companies to reduce wasteful packaging. We are beginning our campaign by asking Hewlett-Packard to remove a particularly wasteful, large plastic container that houses two small ink cartridges. You can view a photo of the package and sign the petition

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