REGION IV ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
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ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND COMMUNITIES AT RISK
Despite significant improvements in environmental protection over the past several decades under the EPA's Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or "Superfund Act," millions of Americans continue to live in unsafe and unhealthy physical environments. Nationwide, over 36,000 hazardous waste sites were listed by EPA under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Comprehensive and Liability Act Information System (CERCLIS). In 1995, EPA removed 25,000 sites from the CERCLIS list in an effort to cleanup efforts (U.S. EPA, 1995). The sites requiring long-term remedial action are listed on the National Priorities List (NPL). Today, 1,300 NPL sites are currently listed.
Millions of economically impoverished communities and their inhabitants have to contend with greater health hazards in their homes, on the jobs, and in their neighborhoods when compared to their more affluent counterparts (U.S. GAO, 1983, Bullard, 1983, 1990, 1993a 1993b, 1993c, 1994; Bryant and Mohai, 1992; Goldman 1992; Goldman and Fitton, 1994; Lee 1992, 1993; U.S. EPA 1992). Many low-income and minority communities are burdened with a large share of small quantity waste generators such as automotive repair shops, salvage yards, dry cleaners, equipment repair shops, photo shops, laundromats, gas stations, and small manufacturing companies, and construction firms (Percival et al., 1992). Many cities are now grappling with cleanup strategies under "Brownfield" initiatives.
The 1990 book Dumping in Dixie illustrated the impact of hazardous waste and toxics on African Americans in the South. Other studies have found clear links between race and income in the distribution of air pollution, contaminated fish consumption, location of municipal landfills and incinerators, abandoned toxic waste dumps, cleanup of superfund sites, and lead poisoning in children (West et al. 1992; Bryant and Mohai 1992; Commission for Racial Justice 1987; Goldman and Fitton 1994; Lavelle and Coyle 1992; Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry 1988; Pirkle, Brody, Gunter, Kramer, Paschal, Flegal, and Matte 1994).
Many of the nation's environmental policies distribute costs in a regressive pattern while providing disproportionate benefits for individuals who fall at the upper end of the income scale. A 1992 study reported in the National Law Journal uncovered glaring inequities in the way the U.S. EPA enforces its laws (Lavelle and Coyle 1992). Lavelle and Coyle (1992) wrote:
There is a racial divide in the way the U.S. government cleans up toxic waste sites and
punishes polluters. White communities see faster action, better results and stiffer penalties
than communities where blacks, Hispanics and other minorities live. This unequal
protection often occurs whether the community is wealthy or poor.
The National Law Journal study reinforced what many grassroots community leaders have known for decades--some communities located on the "wrong side of the tracks" are subjected to a range of environmental assaults. Benjamin Goldman (1994), in his National Wildlife Foundation report Not Just Prosperity, reviewed 64 studies of environmental disparities where race and income were included as variables. The studies covered pesticide exposure, work place exposure, air pollution, toxic releases, water pollution, toxic fish consumption, solid waste, hazardous waste, childhood lead poisoning, incineration, sewage plants, and regulatory benefits. All but one (a Waste Management, Inc. authored study) of the 64 studies found environmental disparities by either race or income. When race and income were compared for significance, race proved more important in nearly three- quarters of the tests, 22 out of 30 studies reported (see Goldman 1994).
Issues to consider regarding disparate outcomes include the following:
- Is the decision making process fair?
- Do the rules apply equally to everyone?
- Do decisions have distributive and regressive impacts?
- Are some locations favored over others (cities vs. Suburbs vs. Rural areas)?
- Who benefits and who pays?
- Who makes the decisions and for whom?
Government Response to Inequities
In 1992, EPA produced Environmental Equity: Reducing Risk for All Communities, one of the first comprehensive government documents to examine the question of risk, environmental hazards, and equity (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1992). EPA also established a 25-member National Environmental Justice Advisory Council or NEJAC under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The NEJAC divided its environmental justice work into six subcommittees: Health and Research, Waste and Facility Siting, Enforcement, Public Participation and Accountability, Native American and Indigenous Issues, and International Issues. The NEJAC is comprised of stakeholders representing grassroots community groups, environmental groups, nongovernmental organizations, state, local, and tribal governments, academia, and industry.
In February, 1994, seven federal agencies, including the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Energy (DOE), and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sponsored a national health symposium, "Health and Research Needs to Ensure Environmental Justice." The conference planning committee was unique in that it included grassroots organization leaders, impacted community residents, and federal agency representatives.
The goal of the 1994 health conference was to bring diverse stakeholders and those most affected to the decision making table (National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences 1995). Some of the recommendations from that health symposium included:
- Conduct meaningful health research in support of racial and ethnic minorities and low- income communities,
- Promote disease prevention and pollution prevention strategies,
- Promote interagency coordination to ensure environmental justice,
- Provide effective outreach, education, and communications, and
- Design legislative and legal remedies.
The health research symposium, attended by 1,100 participants, demonstrated the importance of building partnerships to work on environmental justice and health issues. It also highlighted the need for bringing research scientists, policy makers, government officials, and community representatives to the table to address environmental justice priorities, including strategies to reduce and eliminate disproportionate and adverse impacts to vulnerable populations (i.e., children, elderly, pregnant women, low-income and minority populations, etc.) and design methodologies, tools, and measures to assess multiple, cumulative, and synergistic impacts and human health hazards that approximate the real world.
Executive Order 12898
On February 11, 1994, President Clinton signed Executive Order 12898, "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations." Executive Order 12898 requires each Federal agency to "make achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States and its territories and possessions. . . " This Executive Order reinforces what has been law for at least three decades---the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964---which prohibits discriminatory practices in programs receiving federal funds.
The Executive Order also focuses the spotlight back on the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a twenty-five year old law that set policy goals for the protection, maintenance, and enhancement of the environment. NEPA's goal is "to ensure for all Americans a safe, healthful, productive, and aesthetically and culturally pleasing environment." NEPA requires federal agencies to prepare a detailed statement on the environmental effects of proposed federal actions that significantly affect the quality of human health.
The Executive Order calls for improved methodologies for assessing and mitigating impacts, health effects from multiple and cumulative exposure, collection of data on low-income and minority populations who may be disproportionately at risk, and impacts on subsistence fishers and wildlife consumers. It also encourages participation of the impacted populations in the various phases of assessing impacts---including scoping, data gathering, alternatives, analysis, mitigation, and monitoring.
Environmental Justice Framework
Environmental Justice embraces the principle that all people and communities are entitled to equal protection of our environmental, health, employment, housing, transportation, and civil rights laws. Environmental justice advocates have defined environment to include "where we live, where we work, and where we play." Environmental Justice is defined by EPA's Office of Environmental Justice as:
The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color,
national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and
enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. Fair treatment means that
no group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic group should bear a
disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from
industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local,
and tribal programs and policies (U.S. EPA, 1996).
The environmental justice framework rests on an analysis of strategies to eliminate unfair, unjust, and inequitable conditions and decisions. The major elements of this framework include:
- Equal enforcement of laws and regulations
- Identifying and eliminating discriminatory practices and policies
- Addressing environmental, health, and socioeconomic disparities
- Pollution prevention and right-to-know
- Occupational safety and health of workers
- Community empowerment
- Involving impacted populations in decision making
The environmental justice framework attempts to uncover the underlying assumptions that may contribute to and produce differential exposure and health threats.
Impetus for Executive Order and Paradigm Shift
- Grassroots activism
- Redefinition of environmentalism as a "right"
- Research documenting disparities
- National conferences and symposia
- Emphasis on pollution and disease prevention
- Government initiatives
- Interpretation of existing laws and mandates
- Grassroots alliances and coalitions
Partnership Project Objectives
Information can be empowering. However, many residents whose communities are burdened with environmental problems such as waste sites do not have adequate information to make informed decisions. Similarly, environmental literacy training and risk communication have been slow to enter formal settings where the population most at risk live, work and play. This is especially true for low- income and people of color communities (Bullard, 1994).
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are an important education/training resource to environmental high impact and medically undeserved communities and governmental agencies that are seeking remedies to end environmental inequities. Proximity to the problems and mission alone make HBCUs a logical choice for leadership in environmental literacy training/education, research, and policy formulation.
As an HBCU, Clark Atlanta University's Environmental Justice Resource Center (EJRC) was founded in 1994 to assist, support, train, and educate people of color professionals and grassroots community leaders with the goal of facilitating their inclusion into the mainstream of environmental decision making. The EJRC works on national and international environmental policy issues. However, its major target audience is located in the southern United States, where over 52 percent of African Americans live.
The target audience for Region IV Environmental Justice Partnership Project includes community residents, students, faculty, and government officials who are working on Superfund and hazardous waste problems in the eight states that comprise EPA Region IV (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee). The objectives of the Partnership Project are as follows:
- To enhance critical thinking among impacted low-income and minority communities in assessing impacts of environmental pollution;
- To facilitate community-focused problem-solving, environmental risk communication, and pollution prevention.
- To enhance the communication channels among grassroots groups, professional associations (i.e., legal, public health, education, etc.), scientific groups, health care providers, and public policy makers on environmental justice;
- To develop and field test environmental education/training materials to reach low-income and minority populations;
- To develop mechanisms for the inclusion of environmental justice leaders from impacted and underrepresented groups in the pool of advisors and peer review panelists on policy studies and research grants;
- To assist community stakeholders and public decision makers in identifying "at risk" populations, toxic "hot spots," research gaps, and work with community and government stakeholders to correct these problems.
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COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES
Partnerships in Public Involvement
A partnership involves multiple parties freely joining together to reach a shared goal. Successful partnerships recognize that each member of the team is essential to reaching that goal. The current Partnership Project is designed to reach an audience that historically has been underrepresented in environmental education, training and technology transfer, and policy formulation around hazardous waste and Superfund sites: namely, low-income persons and people of color who live near Superfund sites and waste facilities.
Public involvement is key to creating effective partnerships with communities. Public participation is an important component in Executive Order 12898 (see Section 5.5 or Public Participation and Access to Information). Community Advisory Groups (CAGs) can be an important vehicle for the public in the Superfund process. However, effective communication, planning, and project development rest on open exchange of information and ideas among the various publics, community based organizations and other relevant stakeholders, and EPA officials. More important, the process should provide opportunities for early and continuing communication between the community stakeholders, EPA, and other related government officials.
Designing effective community outreach is not an easy task. Each community is different. Outreach and communication plans must be culturally sensitive and tailored to fit the specific needs of communities. Leaders in impacted communities can assist in the development, modification, and evaluation of effective communication mechanisms to reach their constituent population.
In addition to the usual EPA community relation practices, an environmental justice public involvement strategy will need to educate culturally diverse stakeholders on broad environmental justice principles and their applicability to the EPA strategic goal for Region IV. Generally, most effective public involvement strategies have four common characteristics: inclusiveness, representation, parity, and communication.
Inclusiveness. This characteristic refers to the assurance that all affected communities and stakeholders are represented at the table. The key questions to ask are: Has adequate outreach been conducted to identify critical stakeholders and perspectives? Are all parties involved?
Representation. One of the first tenets in the "Principles of Environmental Justice" (adopted October 27, 1991) is that "people must speak for themselves." It is crucial that the persons who are representing a specific community or stakeholder group truly reflect the community's, stakeholder's, and constituents' views, values, and norms.
Parity. It is not a given that all stakeholders come to the table as equals. Some stakeholders have greater access and better preparation to participate. Similarly, just because a stakeholder has gained a seat at the table does not guarantee that his or her views will be heard or valued. Thus, parity involves all stakeholder groups having equal opportunity and capacity to provide input and full participation, as well as equal voice in decision making.
Communication. Community is an elusive term. There is no one community in the United States, but a set of communities. Different cultural groups (insiders) often communicate with each other in ways that may seem foreign to individuals who do not belong to their group (outsiders). The insider- outsider dichotomy can explain much of the information blockage. Different groups weigh and act upon government actions and policies differently. Thus, an effective communication strategy recognizes, respects, and values cultural diversity of communities and stakeholder that represent a specific race, ethnic group, gender, age, geographic region, and a host of other characteristics.
Public Participation Guiding Principles
Getting the right community stakeholders and community representatives to the table is not easy. Moreover, there is no one way of accomplishing this goal. Environmental justice public participation strategies vary from agency to agency. The lack of codification has led to some confusion and misunderstanding of what environmental justice participation attempts to accomplish. EPA's "Environmental Justice Public Participation Checklist" can serve as a general guide (U.S. EPA, 1996). The checklist is not meant to be exhaustive (see Appendix A). Nevertheless, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council or NEJAC developed some guiding principles of public participation. Public participation is needed in all aspects of environmental decision-making. Communities and agencies should be seen as equal partners in dialogue on environmental justice issues. NEJAC offered the following interactions as key components in building successful partnerships:
* Encourage active community participation
* Institutionalize public participation
* Recognize community knowledge
* Utilize cross-cultural formats & exchanges
Reaching Culturally Diverse Audiences
In designing successful public participation and community outreach strategies, it is important to understand that there is no "generic" public or community. In the real world, there are many publics and community interests. Thus, outreach and communication strategies should target specific audiences and stakeholders from the various publics and communities--as defined at the local level.
Compile Stakeholder Roster
Retrieve stakeholder groups via cross referencing databases, environmental justice directories, resource directories, national and regional conference mailing lists and rosters, neighborhood associations, and civic club contact guides. Compile roster (contact persons, addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers, and E-Mail addresses) of target audience from ethnic- and cultural-based environmental justice networks (i.e., Southern Organizing Committee) and voluntary associations such as churches, ministerial alliances, civil rights groups (i.e., NAACP, Urban League chapters, local affiliates and branches), ethnic-based chambers of commerce and business associations, neighborhood associations, home owners groups, civic clubs, elected officials who represent minority communities, rural cooperatives, and ethnic-based professional, medical, scientific, and legal associations.
Develop inventory (contact persons, addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers, and E-mail addresses) of ethnic-oriented radio stations, newspapers, newsletters, and community-based publications. Some cultural groups rely heavily on the radio for news and information.
Catalog local meeting schedules (time, place, and average number of persons) of local community, civic, and social action groups. It is especially important to know the days/evenings that are usually set aside by ethnic- or religious-based groups for holding their meetings. This is important since all efforts should be made to minimize scheduling conflicts and holding meetings in locations that are considered unfriendly turf. Special efforts may be needed to negotiate neutral meeting venues when racial/ethnic dynamics mitigate against getting divergent groups to the table in the same room.
Compile Information Packets
Assemble Public Information Packets that contain general introductory information materials on Superfund, RCRA and hazardous waste, Executive Order 12898, Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and a short survey form that requests stakeholders to identify community concerns, needs, and general barriers to citizen involvement.
Education and Communication Strategy
It is important that a communication intake mechanism be designed to receive written and oral comments (i.e., taped one-on-one interviews or call-in comments) from culturally diverse stakeholders. An open and fair mechanism should be established for identifying, nominating, selecting, and communicating with low-income and minority stakeholders. Some suggested strategies include:
Prepare public notices and display ads to advertise all information meetings. Ideally, notices would be published two weeks in advance of the meeting and should include the following information: (1) time and location of the meetings; (2) meeting purpose and participation opportunities; (3) the roles and responsibilities of attendees and sponsors; (4) a statement that the meeting is open for public attendance and participation; (5) name and telephone number of contact person(s) to obtain more information; and (6) topics of consideration at the information meeting.
Use of Existing Institutions
Identify historically black colleges and universities/minority institutions (HBCUs/MIs) and other local institutions for broadcasting environmental justice/Superfund information. For remote areas or projects that have potential statewide or regional impacts, EPA may consider using satellite down link sites in or near low-income and minority communities.
Local Community Cable Access Channel
Many community colleges, HBCUs/MIs, and other institutions that serve large numbers of low- income students and students of color have cable television channels that have the potential of reaching a unique audience. Faculty and students at these institutions are potential resources to communities near Superfund or hazardous waste sites. Assemble a panel of community and environmental justice leaders for presentation on local cable access channel (to be video taped for later broadcast).
Town Hall Meetings
Some grassroots community persons may not respond favorably to a formal public hearing. On the other hand, these same individuals might attend a less formal town hall meeting. Here, the idea is to identify the venue that will yield meaningful citizen participation in public forum. The town hall- style meetings should be conducted during the evenings, on weekends, and at the time that is convenient to the impacted residents. Whenever possible, the meetings will need to be held in the community or on "friendly" turf. The meetings could be video taped for later broadcast on the local Cable TV channel.
Workshops and Focus Groups
Education and training workshops can provide stakeholder groups with information to level the playing field. Stakeholders need to be involved in planning information workshops (meetings to be video taped for later broadcast). Whenever possible, workshops should use focus groups (breakouts). A focus group discussion guideline should be developed before the groups are conducted. The guideline is to be used by moderators or facilitators to ensure that the groups are conducted in a consistent manner. The facilitators should be persons who are "non-aligned" and are perceived by all parties as being fair, impartial, and objective. Develop (where appropriate) educational material for non-English speaking segments of impacted community to ensure their inclusion into the decision making process.
Advertising via PSAs and News Releases
The EPA may choose to prepare and distribute to the local media news releases to explain the purpose of meetings and announce the times and locations. Also the Army may want to develop public service announcements (PSAs) for local radio stations to advertise stakeholder activities. Some discussion can be generated via talk radio and popular "Morning" TV shows. It may be appropriate to prepare more extensive media information packets to update local media on public involvement activities and progress.
Interest can be stimulated on local issues through well-placed opinion/editorial (OPED) pieces in local newspaper. In some instances, co-authored articles reach a broader audience. Opinion articles also need to be written for ethnic-oriented print media.
No matter how many meetings and workshops are held, there will always be questions. An Information Hotline or "800" call-in number will serve as a clearinghouse for calls. Calls should be logged and analyzed by type.
Newsletter, Fact Sheets, and Updates
Publish and distribute newsletters, fact sheets, and updates with a calendar of scheduled events. The analysis of Hotline intake calls will serve as the basis for producing information Fact Sheets, newsletters, and updates. Other information or "news" could be generated from related stakeholder activities.
Internet Web Page
The internet is a fast and inexpensive method of communicating with a wide audience. Many grassroots groups are now communicating via e-mail and developing their own web pages for displaying their work. Because many low-income persons and people of color are underrepresented in their use of the internet, print copies of web page documents will also need to be made available to community stakeholders.
There is no magic formula or "silver bullet" that will bring low-income and culturally diverse populations to the table as they attempt to address waste issues. Nevertheless, it is important that the EPA take steps to encourage and facilitate more active participation by low-income persons and people of color in its decision making process. This goal can be accomplished through the strategies outlined, with careful identification of the target audience and aggressive community outreach.
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Through formal and informal networks with grassroots community leaders, activists, academicians, policy makers, the EJRC has established bonds and common strategies to increase environmental literacy, education, training, and information dissemination among at risk communities thereby empowering them to speak for and do for themselves. During its short tenure, the EJRC has accomplished a number of milestones. Many of these accomplishments were made possible by the EPA Region IV Partnership Grant. Some of these milestones include:
Organized National and Regional Meetings
- January 7, 1995. Played an instrumental role in facilitating the EPA Region IV Dioxin Public Hearing.
- January 20, 1995. Hosted the Interagency Working Group's (comprised of 17 federal agencies) national public hearing (and three dozen satellite down link sites) on the Environmental Justice Executive Order, "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations."
- On July 20, 1995. Hosted EPA's "Urban Revitalization and Brownfield" Hearings in Atlanta as part of the EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council's (NEJAC) Waste and Facility Siting Subcommittee.
Town Hall Meetings
- May, 1996. Coordinated the Atlanta Empowerment Zone Town Hall Meeting on Sustainability held at Clark Atlanta University.
- November, 1997. Conducted Environmental Justice Town Hall Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.
Conference Panels and Plenaries
The EJRC organized a number of environmental justice panels, workshops, and plenaries and participated in the following national conferences where presentations were made on Superfund, hazardous waste sites, and environmental justice:
- National Superfund Community Involvement Conference, U.S. EPA, San Francisco, CA (January, 1995).
- International Congress of Hazardous Waste: Impact on Human Health and Ecological Health Conference, Atlanta, GA (April, 1995).
- Superfund Relocation Roundtable, U.S. EPA, Pensacola, Florida (May,1996).
EPA Region IV Lecture Series
- Savannah State College, Savannah, Georgia (October 25, 1995) "Hazardous Waste sites and Savannah's Low-income African American Neighborhoods and Waste and the Savannah River Site"
- Elizabeth City State College, Elizabeth City, North Carolina. International Environment Conference, (December 1, 1995) "Hazardous Waste, Superfund and Community Health Perspectives"
- Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, Lecture given at CAU to faculty and students from Berea College (Berea, Kentucky) who were visiting the EJRC as part of their information gathering for site visits to Superfund sites and waste facilities in the region (January 17, 1995). The Berea College faculty and students were on their way to the Superfund site in Anniston, Alabama and the Hazardous Waste landfill in Emelle, Alabama. "Hazardous Waste and Poor Communities."
- Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia. Community Health Lecture Series (January 22, 1996). "Hazardous Waste, Public Health, and Environmental Justice."
- University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, School of Theory Lecture Series (March 22, 1996). "Hazardous Waste and Environmental Justice."
- Tuskegee University, Tuskegee Alabama, Sigma Xi Honor Society Ceremony, Keynote Speaker (April 27, 1996) "Hazardous Waste and Environmental Justice."
- Oakwood College and Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Alabama (May 9, 1996). Workshop and lecture for faculty and community residents of the nearby Triana, AL Superfund site.
Community Based Organizations Needs
The Partnership Project conducted a preliminary community needs assessment by surveying community based environmental justice groups in Region IV. The survey population was comprised of grassroots environmental justice groups identified in the People of Color Environmental Groups Directory 1994-95 and groups identified through the Southern Organizing Committee (SOC) databases. Questionnaires were mailed to 52 groups. The survey focused on two major areas: (1) environmental problem facing the community, and (2) technical assistance needs.
Groups were asked to identify the "number one environmental problem facing their community." A total of 47 of the 52 groups responded to this item. The responses can be groups into seven major categories (see Table 3.1). Over half of the respondents (57.7 percent) identified toxic chemicals/pesticides, hazardous waste and facility siting as the number one problem facing their community. The other priority problem areas included health/health assessments, water contamination, and air pollution. One Individuals cited corruption as a major problem.
Table 3.1. The Number One Environmental Problem Identified by the Communities
Environmental Problems Number Percent Toxic Chemicals/Pesticides 13 25.0 Facility Siting 9 17.3 Hazardous Waste 8 15.4 Health/Health Assessment 6 11.5 Water Contamination 5 9.6 Air Pollution 5 9.6 Corruption 1 2.0 No Response 5 9.6 N= 52 100.0
Environmental justice groups in Region IV identified a number of areas where the EJRC could assist them in their work (see Table 3.2). Assistance in conducting research was ranked first. The number two ranked areas included assistance with community training workshops, health surveys, GIS mapping, and impact assessments. The groups identified the need for assistance with EPA s Toxic Release Inventory database (3rd), followed by assistance in conducting of town hall meetings (4th), and Superfund updates (5th). Other areas of need included assistance with Community Advisory Groups (CAGs), job training in environmental restoration and cleanup connected to Superfund sites, grant opportunities, Restoration Advisory Boards (RABs), media, and proposal writing.
The survey results will aid the Partnership Project in targeting technical outreach and technical assistance services to impacted communities based on needs identified by the environmental justice groups and the residents they represent. The findings will also serve as the foundation for follow-up data retrieval via informal environmental justice groups dialogues.
Expanded Environmental Justice Database
Starting with grassroots groups profiled in the People of Color Environmental Groups Directory 1994-95, the EJRC worked closely with the Southern Organizing Committee (SOC) in expanding the database of environmental justice groups in Region IV. The database is maintained as a resource to grassroots groups for networking and dissemination of specialized lists to key stakeholders (i.e., grassroots activists, academicians, other nongovernment organization leaders, and government officials, legal groups, and states). The list of Region IV Environmental Justice Groups is available in hard copy and on disk.
The EJRC internet web page contains most of the work products from the Partnership Project and related environmental justice resource material. The web page is updated continuously with related publications, reports, videos, and other resources. The site serves as a information clearinghouse and repository function and is linked to other related web sites. The EJRC internet web site can be reached at http://www.ejrc.cau.edu.
Resource Material and Publications
Environmental Justice: An Annotated Bibliography. Summaries of resources published between 1980-1996. The bibliography is designed as an educational resource and will be periodically updated. The bibliography is divided into five major subareas: (1) environmental Justice and Environmental Equity, (2) Unequal Protection and Environmental Racism, (3) Land Use and Facility Siting, (4) Legal and Law Review Articles, and (5) Books, Monographs, and Special Issues.
Environmental Justice Video Directory. Summaries of videos, news clips, and documentaries on environmental justice. The video directory includes 74 summaries of videos, running time, cost, and contact information. The directory will be periodically updated.
Environmental Justice Curriculum Resource Guide. A national search was undertaken to retrieve and catalog college and university course listings on environmental justice. The resource guide contains 50 course syllabi on a wide range of disciplines from environmental studies to law to public policy to sociology. The guide will be periodically updated.
Environmental Community Forum Television Program. A cable television and local Atlanta station (Channel 46). The program featured Dr. Robert D. Bullard, (author of Dumping in Dixie), Laura Lawson, resident of the Atlanta Herndon Homes Housing Public Housing Development (Herndon Homes hazardous waste cleanup site), Arthur Smith, resident of Hyde Park in Augusta, GA (Monsanto Superfund site), and Terry Clark, resident from Tifton, GA (Chevron Chemical/Marzone Superfund site). Tapes of the program are available to community groups upon request.
Table 3.2 Ranking of Community Groups Technical Assistance
Needs from the Environmental Justice Resource Center
Type Technical N % Assistance Yes Yes Rank Research 50 96 1 Community Training Workshops 47 90 2 Health Assessments 47 90 2 GIS Mapping 47 90 2 Impact Assessments 47 90 2 Toxic Release Inventory 46 88 3 Town Hall Meetings 44 85 4 Superfund Updates 42 81 5 Community Advisory Groups 41 79 6 Job Training/Cleanup 30 58 7 Grant Opportunities 23 44 8 Restoration Advisory Boards 23 44 8 Media/Press Kits 22 42 9 Proposal Writing 16 31 10 N= 52
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