Few things get me as excited as attending a new class, workshop or conference. (I am one of those people who didn’t want school to end and thrives on the thrill of intellectual discussions, in other words, I’m kind of a nerd.) So, I was happy to help with the event planning for an upcoming environmental conference, The Path to a Sustainable Future: Public Health and the Environment, that will be held April 15, 2011. EPA and The Earth Institute, Columbia University are hosting a day of talks and discussions on current issues impacting public health and the environment in honor of EPA’s 40th anniversary. Sandra Steingraber, an ecologist and one of the first people to connect toxic release data with human cancer rates, will kick off the day with a plenary speech on public health. Several of the panel discussions will cover topics of specific concern to New York City residents including green infrastructure, smart growth and the emerging green economy. Other panels will address the issue of climate change and community response to sea level rise; energy efficiency and renewable resources; waste reduction, recycling and composting; PCBs in schools; urban pesticides; and reducing air toxics. The event will culminate with a discussion on hydraulic fracturing, a topic that has been heating up in New York state recently. Presentations will be followed by time for Q&A – come get answers to your burning environmental questions. The conference is open to everyone and will be attended by students, environmental activists, business and local government leaders, nonprofit organizations and the interested public. The dialogue should be lively and engaging. If you live in the New York metropolitan area, I encourage you to sign up. I will be working the event and won’t be able to hear all the presentations, so I’ll need to live vicariously through those of you who can participate!
About the author: Sophia Kelley is a public affairs specialist in New York City. She has been working and writing for EPA since 2009.