Video Town Hall

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.