Region 6 EJ Showcase Community: Port Arthur, TX
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EJ Showcase Communities by Region
EPA Region 6 is developing and implementing a comprehensive, cross-media project in this diverse city. More than 50 percent of its residents are African American and Hispanic. The city has many facilities including chemical plants, refineries and a hazardous waste incinerator. This project is being developed, with the support of other government agencies, in response to community-based organizations who have called upon EPA to look at the cumulative effects of multiple environmental impacts in Port Arthur.
- Supported community forums on improving the quality of life for Port Arthur Westside residents.
- Engaged in partnerships with Port Arthur stakeholders and industry leading to a $1,000,000 award for a construction of a Health Clinic on the Westside of Port Arthur Texas.
- Received significant support from Administrator Jackson
- Conducted Healthy Home trainings and health outreach for 60 neighborhood residents.
- Provided emergency response training to 75 community representatives
- Supported air quality and job training and education of over 100 families on energy conservation.
- Provided school chemical cleanout training to more than 30 science teachers.
- Supported revitalization by leveraging $329,598 worth of Brownfield assessments on 1,300 properties.
EPA Region 6 is developing and implementing a comprehensive, cross-media project in the West side community of Port Arthur, Texas. The project involves governmental officials, religious leaders, industrial officials, community leaders and citizens in a collaborative community-based approach to improve the community’s public health and the environment.
Over the last 12 months, an action plan for the project was developed. This action plan resulted in three grants and contract support for outreach and community meeting activities. The three grants included:
- A Healthy Homes Outreach Project, University of Texas Foundation in collaboration with University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Community In Power and Development Association,
- An After School Environmental Science Lab Project, Tekoa Charter School, and
- The Golden Triangle Empowerment Center Job Training Program.
The primary contract support activity involves the development of an EPA ‘Environmental Profile’ outreach document. The environmental profile will be a clear concise outreach document that summarizes joint EPA and State evaluations of the best available information about environmental conditions (e.g., data and predictive tools). A City – EPA, two-day EJ Summit in Port Arthur, Texas occurred on November 8-9, 2010. The summit brought together stakeholders to discuss thoughtful strategies and approaches to improve the quality of life for Port Arthur residents. The facilitated dialogue highlighted several crucial challenges that could be effectively addressed through a thoughtful local, state and federal collaboration.
Throughout 2011, efforts will be made to begin to address six critically important issues that were identified at the EJ Summit and formalized in Port Arthur’s EJ Plan. These issues will be addressed by the formation of six issue specific workgroups composed of a cross-section of stakeholders.
There are a number of results expected from the EJ Showcase Community project. The environmental profile outreach document will inform the public of federal and state permits and authorizations, and identify opportunities for input into permit conditions. The Port Arthur EJ Plan is expected to impact environmental quality, promote the revitalization of the Downtown and Westside areas, address unemployment and significant health care challenges, improve the energy efficiency of residences, and facilitate alternative housing for residents of the Carver Terrace Assisted Housing Project.
For additional information about the Region 6 Showcase Initiative, contact Israel Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Region 6 Associate Director for Environmental Justice at 214-665-3138.