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What opportunities exist for EPA to collaborate with other federal agencies to support communities?

2011 July 29

EPA is engaged in several projects partnering with federal agencies to combine knowledge and resources in support of communities. Through the Partnership with Sustainable Communities, EPA is working with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help communities design redevelopment plans that take multiple factors into account. EPA is also participating in the Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative alongside several federal agencies. This partnership works to assist local communities to advance their vision to revitalize the economy. We’d like to know what opportunities you see for us to collaborate and coordinate with other deferral agencies in order to make the most of our collective resources.

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.

5 Responses leave one →
  1. Oliver Paladin of permalink
    July 29, 2011

    Funding share with USDA Rural Development to help in the development of Comprehensive Plans for rural towns. Ideally, brownfield “area-wide” planning grant assistance could be leveraged with USDA funding to help communities with their “vision” and Comp Plan. Current 104(K) grants seem to be favoring urban cities that have Comp Plans.

  2. Paul Glover of Patch Adams Free Clinic permalink
    July 29, 2011

    EPA can recommend building code revisions which facilitate construction of earthships http://www.earthship.net. These reduce fossil fuel consumption to near zero by layering earth deep. Moreover, promotion of idiot-prooof compost toilets can have a huge impact on urban water use and public health. http://www.ecological-engineering.com/carousel.html

  3. Jean May-Brett of Educator permalink
    July 30, 2011

    Collaborate with the Department of Education on the removal of hazardous waste and chemicals from school facilities. Currently there is no easy/planned way to remove dangerous materials from classrooms. EPA has an outstanding SCCC program helping teachers identify problems. Removal is difficult and often much too costly for school systems.

  4. LeVonne Stone of Fort Ord Environmental Justice Network permalink
    August 2, 2011

    “What opportunities exist for EPA to collaborate with other federal agencies to support communities?”

    Since we look to EPA to advocate for the Health, safety & well-being of our communities, we feel that EPA should take a more pronounced leadership role. Without your role in our communities, we could not participate, nor gain the knowledge that would protect us from health affects and economic devastation. Especially when it comes to free land from base closure of Federal Superfund sites. ATSDR is not on the side of impacted communities. Federal facilities seem to think that those who are impacted by their decisions is just unfortunate. Especially at the local level. They seem to do what they want, no matter what happens to residents who are gravely impacted in their health and day to day survival in processes that pass them by. The non-essential people??? I don’t know how you should influence other Federal agencies in supporting communities, but, I certainly feel that it cannot be done without first embracing those who are strongly involved on the same level as impacted community members. TO bring them along and to present them with your blessing (as partners) in whatever processes that EPA is involved in that will impact the quality of Life of the residents in any given community. I have more, but I don’t like talking to my computer, it has no face.

  5. Stafford "Doc" Williamson of Williamson Information Technologies Corp. permalink
    November 11, 2011

    Human solid wastes (sewer sludge) should never enter our lakes streams and oceans, so sewage processing could (should) become mandatory regardless of community size because the sludge can now be processed into liquid fuels on an almost infinitely variable range of scales, virtually household size to megalopolis. In fact on a household scale it can be processed into “syn gas” (CO and H2) with very little ash. Such gases can readily be used in domestic applications for heating and cooling. Combining authority and ingenuity from USDA, Dept. of Energy and EPA should begin moves in this direction immediately, with developmental grants. A very useful exploration could be accomplished through voluntary compliance on the part of towns and villages, and remote tourist facilities. “There is no such thing as ‘waste’, we just have to figure out the best use for whatever is left over.”

    On another front, CCS should not be thought of as only “sequestration” but also as “storage,” because it is relatively easy to capture carbon and store it as useful energy in the form of chemical compounds when Algae “eat” the carbon dioxide from combustion processes. Similarly the Calera processes turn carbon dioxide into gypsum and other building materials using the naturally occurring chemicals in seawater.

    Most importantly, we need to develop a sense of urgency that is proportional to the dangers we are creating in the area of climate change. As Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist, said last week, “As each year passes without clear signals to drive investment in clean energy, the lock-in of high-carbon infrastructure is making it harder and more expensive to meet our energy security and climate goals.” And, as Time Magazine added, “The longer we delay, the worse it will get—and the harder it will be to save ourselves.”

    That implies a need for an urgent “makeover” of our economic efforts on the kind of scale and timetable that the shift to retool for WW II. We’ve had enough of war, but it is time we applied the lessons of the early 1940′s about how radically we can transition to defeat a threat to the entire world and the climate “threat” has already “invaded” every continent and country.

    The IEA report says we have just 5 years to get on track, or it will simply be too late to prevent disastrous results.

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