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What activities and approaches should EPA use to help your community fully and meaningfully participate in environmental decision-making? What are the most important factors that EPA should consider when working with your community?

2011 September 20

EPA understands that good policy is made when communities affected by our policies are involved early-on in the decision making process. EPA wants to know what we can do to work most effectively with your community.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here 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.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. Joey Billy of Kuskokwim River Watershed Council permalink
    September 21, 2011

    The Native Americans in state of alaska are not recognized. With that said. The EPA activites and approaches would greatly benefit Tribal Members in state of alaska on regulating water and air if the Tribal Villages wanted to assumed TAS approach or in that area, to assume TAS with EPAs help would greatly benefit Tribes in Alaska.

    I am writing this statement as a Tribal Member and not as a consortium.

  2. Scott Clow of Ute Mountain Ute Tribe permalink
    September 21, 2011

    Education and Implementation at the local level- as you know , these both require funding. For Tribal governments like ours, EPA funding is one of the primary mechanisms to conduct these activities. Fund the Tribal Multi-media Implementation Grants! And continue to fund environmental education grants!

  3. seth k of ECA permalink
    September 22, 2011

    Ensure that you meet with and speak directly with the local government where the site is located.

  4. John Schweizer of John W. Schweizer, P.E. permalink
    September 23, 2011

    1) At the AMCO Superfund/South Prescott Lead Soil Remediation project, we are using a community website to improve communication and community participation. Functionality of the site allows the TA to answer questions in a public forum, community members to post relevant information in a variety of formats in a Blog, and submit a forum to the TA with any concerns that arise during the course of the program. Requests for posting daily air monitoring results and for submitting residents’ authorization forms, pre-remediation property questionaires,
    and restoration plan approvals are currently under review. Continued support of this “functional website” approach by the EPA will greatly improve community involvement, facilitate project efficiency, and reduce the cost to the EPA of community outreach. I invite you to view the site at: http://southprescottcommunityforum.org/
    The website is just getting started, but already there are some active, energetic discussions going on.
    2) The most important factor that the EPA should consider when dealing with our community is to provide accurate, understandable information. This is particularly important as internal policies in the EPA change, necessitating changes in project schedules and budgets that impact the community. Seeing changes without explanation leads to mistrust by the community, which is unwarranted and difficult to overcome. As a TA whose main function is to make such communications, I am finding the website Forum to be a much more powerful tool than one-on-one e-mails, or speaking at community meetings, to fulfill this function. My responses reach a wider audience, and last longer because they remain posted.

  5. John Schweizer of John W. Schweizer, P.E. permalink
    September 23, 2011

    I forgot to add my voice to those of other responders regarding jobs and training. Another very important factor in dealing with our community is the employment arising from the lead remediation project. The project is done totally by local youth providing the remediation labor, a local project management contractor, a local resident landscape designer, and a local resident landscape contractor. This approach by the EPA is giving the community a huge stake in the success of the project.

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