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Conference Proceedings

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Conference Booklet

A conference booklet was prepared with complete abstracts for each session which is available for download (18 pp, 425KB, About PDF).

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Community Session

Jacksonville Community Initiated Redevelopment Forum (Community Affairs Session)
Presenters: Dr. Mildred McClain, Citizens for Environmental Justice (Facilitator); John Frank, University of North Florida (Facilitator); Suzi Ruhl, Environmental Law Institute; Rick Keenan, Florida Brownfields Association; Rev. Anthony Wyche, Sr. Second Chance Help Center, Inc.; Diane Kerr, North Riverside Community Association

The Community Affairs Session returns the hospitality of our host city through contributing to the community where the National Community Involvement Conferences are held. This year, the Community Affairs Subcommittee spearheaded an innovative forum to empower, inform and mobilize residents living in Urban Core, Jacksonville’s historically disadvantaged neighborhoods, in the process of Community Initiated Redevelopment.

The Jacksonville Community Initiated Redevelopment Forum was created through the collaboration of numerous state, county and local agencies, community-based organizations and U.S. EPA Regions 4 and 9. The Forum will assist residents with the visioning and planning processes to address the contaminated and/or abandoned properties in their neighborhoods. A collaboration of residents, community organizations, developers and local, state and federal government agencies will continue the work that was laid out during the forum.

The evening will begin with a panel discussion on the quality of life impacts of brownfields and contaminated sites have on people and neighborhoods, redevelopment basics, and the successful Phoenix Landing Housing Development.

Following, audience members will be able experience first hand the negotiations that take place between government agencies, community advocates and developers with potential redevelopment projects.

The night will conclude in a 50 minute small group dialogue integrating and applying the evening’s information by identifying priority sites for redevelopment in the Jacksonville's Urban Core.

The Forum will be held Monday, June 18th, from 5:30 pm-8:30 pm at the Jacksonville Main Library, 303 N. Laura Street. You must register for this session on the conference registration website.

Download Agenda for Community Affairs Sessions (PDF) (2pp/110KB)
Download Community Affairs Session Posters (PDF) (4pp/402KB)
Download Questions for Small Group Dialogue (PDF) (1pg/75KB)
Download Suzi Ruhl's Panel Presentation (PDF) (14pp/819KB)
Download Rick Keenan's (Florida Brownfields Program) Presentation (PDF) (8pp/1.1MB)

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Plenary Sessions

Tuesday, June 19: Welcome and Plenary Activities

The tenth anniversary of EPA's Community Involvement Conference and Training presents an occasion to reflect upon our past communications and outreach accomplishments and to celebrate the Agency's success in advocating for early and meaningful community participation. In keeping with the conference theme, "CELEBRATING THE PAST, LOOKING TO THE FUTURE," this opening event sets the stage for a week-long journey into the theory and practice of meaningful community involvement and directs our attention to the accomplishments of community involvement practitioners during the past ten years! The session will begin with a welcome address from the Honorable John Peyton, Mayor of Jacksonville, followed by introductory remarks from senior EPA and state officials, including James B. Gulliford (Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances), Dr. George M. Gray (Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development), James I. Palmer, Jr. (Regional Administrator for EPA Region 4), and Gregory J. Strong (Northeast District Director, Florida Department of Environmental Protection). The keynote address will be given by Ms. B. Suzi Ruhl, Director of the Public Health and Law Program for the Environmental Law Institute.

The plenary session also features a youth recognition ceremony and a presentation of a unique environmental mural by students and teachers from the LaVilla School of the Arts in Jacksonville. The mural will consist of 24 acrylic paintings covering a 6' x 12' area. While each canvas is being painted by an individual LaVilla student, the paintings will blend together to form an cohesive image focusing on the "Planet Earth" theme. The mural will be transferred to EPA Region 4 Office in Atlanta after the conference where it will be displayed.

Download Tuesday Plenary Session Presentation (PDF) (34pp/2.1 MB)

Wednesday, June 20: Panel Discussion

"Thinking Outside of the Box: Innovative Approaches to Community Involvement." During this panel discussion, leaders in the field of community involvement and risk communication decision-making will discuss innovative approaches to overcoming obstacles to effective community involvement. Topics that will be discussed during this dynamic panel session include innovations in: 1) improving risk communication; 2) addressing environmental justice challenges; and 3) utilizing technology to enhance citizen involvement. Panelists include Ms. Susanna Haas Lyons, a Program Associate for AmericaSpeaks; Dr. Kathy Rowan, a George Mason University professor who studies risk communications; and Ms. Dollie B. Burwell, a well-known community organizer and environmental activist. The discussion will be moderated by Ms. Helen DuTeau, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Download Thinking Outside the Box: Innovative Approaches to Community Involvement (PDF) (24pp/10.4 MB)
Download Rowan's Presentation, Innovative Approaches to Risk Communication (PDF)
(25pp/284KB)
Download Lyons's Presentation, Thinking Out of The Box: Large Scale, Demographically Representative Approaches to Citizen Engagement (PDF) (24pp/1.7MB)
Download Thinking Outside the Box: Innovative Approaches to Community Involvement (PDF) (5pp/51KB)
View News Clip describing Dollie Burwell's work in Warren County, NC

Thursday, June 21: Keynote Presentation, Poster and Community Involvement Awards

The Keynote Speaker for the last plenary session is Mr. Richard Moore, Executive Director of the Southwest Network. The Southwest Network is a bi-national organization that comprises over 60 community-based, grassroots organizations working in communities of color in six southwestern states and Northern Mexico. Mr. Moore is a strategic thinker who is skilled and well-renowned in building collaborative partnerships to address community concerns. With over 40 years of experience as a community organizer, he is a key national leader of the environmental economic justice movement. In recognition of his life-long work, Richard was the recipient of the 1991 Bannerman Award, the 1995 Albuquerque Human Rights Award, the 1997 Tides Foundation Kane Bagley Award for public policy, and the 2005 Leadership for a Changing World Award. Closing remarks will be given by Marylouise M. Uhlig, Associate Assistant Administrator for Management in the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances.

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Open-Time Sessions

Concurrent open-time sessions on Tuesday afternoon provide an opportunity for participants to discuss hot topics or issues outside of the formal conference sessions. These sessions do not conflict with other conference sessions. Topics will be proposed during the plenary session on Tuesday morning. You may propose and describe a topic and ask others to join you to talk about it. Since you are suggesting the topic, you will serve as the host/coordinator for the session. Your session will be assigned a meeting room for the 3:00-4:00pm open-time period on Tuesday, and topic and meeting room assignments will be posted at the registration desk.

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Concurrent Sessions

The conference will feature six 75-minute, thirty one 90-minute and four 3-hour concurrent sessions on a broad range of topics. The concurrent sessions include:

75-Minute Concurrent Sessions (Tuesday Afternoon, June 19)

  • Fostering Diverse Community Involvement through Youth Outreach
    Presenters: BJ Cummings and Lorena Jimenez Sepin, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition
    The Duwamish River Superfund Site runs through Seattle's most ethnically diverse and lowest-income neighborhoods. The riverfront community of South Park is 40 percent Latino, and nearly 50 percent of residents speak a native language other than English. Exposure to environmental hazards disproportionately impact this marginalized area. Numerous attempts to involve the Latino and non-English-speaking population in Superfund cleanup decisions have not been effective even when culturally appropriate food, bilingual child care, and simultaneous translation at public meetings were provided.

    A 2005 survey of environmental and community issues of importance to the neighborhood revealed that the highest priorities for many families are not environmental. They center instead on youth problems - drugs, gangs, and violence. The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC) - EPA's Community Advisory Group for the Superfund site - responded by developing the Urban Environmental Justice Youth Corps, a bilingual youth program for Latino and at-risk teens. The program responds to the community's self-defined needs by engaging local teens in positive, skill-building activities while exposing them to educational and community service activities related to the environment. The goal of the program is to increase the Latino community's understanding of and involvement in the Superfund cleanup by positively engaging young people in the community. The session will describe the program and its results to date. It will interactively engage participants in exercises and activities used with youth in the program.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (59pp/2.8MB)

  • Lake Apopka Farmworkers Community Health Study
    Presenters: Jeannie Economos, Ron Habin, and Geraldean Matthew, Farmworker Association of Florida
    Lake Apopka is Florida's most polluted large lake. Studies have linked agricultural pesticides in or around the lake, specifically organochlorides, to alligator and other wildlife abnormalities, including population declines. Former Lake Apopka farmworkers chronically exposed to these same pesticides are experiencing significant, even life-threatening health problems that many believe may be connected to exposure to multiple sources of environmental contamination, including the highly toxic pesticides used on the vegetable farms on Lake Apopka. Their health problems include chronic skin disorders, severe and chronic respiratory problems, reproductive abnormalities, and autoimmune diseases.

    Community members worked with the Farmworker Association of Florida to develop the Lake Apopka Farmworkers Environmental Health Survey to gather data on the health status of the community. Community leaders and an independent anthropologist drafted a survey instrument and trained community members to use the survey to interview their peers. The final 53-page survey report is a compilation of data collected and analyzed over an 18-month period, during which 148 people were surveyed and data results compiled.

    Participants in this session will acquire a greater understanding of the health problems experienced by the former Lake Apopka farmworker community. Participants also will learn about a replicable community-based model that can be used to gather information about environmental health issues, and how community health research can be used as leverage to improve local health care for farmworkers and others.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (27pp/1.6MB)

  • The Language of Participation: Engaging Stakeholders in Ethnic Communities
    Presenters: Paul Hubler, Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority; David Lang, Lang, Pan, Chan Public Relations; Nathan Springer, Lee Andrews Group, Inc.
    The rapid growth and diffusion of multi-ethnic communities across the U.S. poses unique challenges to public involvement professionals trying to engage stakeholders from numerous cultural and language backgrounds. The San Gabriel Valley, just to the east of Los Angeles, is at the forefront of these demographic changes. It is home to the largest concentration of Chinese-speaking residents in the U.S. and some of the largest Latino, Vietnamese, Korean, and Filipino-American populations. The presenters will demonstrate effective multi-cultural public involvement techniques from years of experience in outreach to Latino and Asian-American communities on environmental and government projects and programs.

    Participants will learn how to develop and implement a successful multi-lingual and multi-cultural outreach program while avoiding common pitfalls. Topics will include targeting outreach to multi-cultural communities, identifying and building relationships with local ethnic leaders, connecting with constituencies through ethnic media, and engaging stakeholders of diverse backgrounds. The workshop will help participants learn how to integrate the values of diverse communities into program and policy goals.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (7pp/4.1MB)

  • The "Cadillac" of Superfund Community Workgroup Communication Plans
    Presenters: Anne Moore, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
    Likely community roadblocks=dozens; state government staff=0. That is the typical scorecard Superfund Community Workgroups are dealt. In this interactive session, you will learn and discuss what is referred to as "The Cadillac of Communications Plans" for the country's first Superfund cap-and-dredge sediment remediation project. Rather than create an us vs. them scenario or a Katrina-like response to a possible air-quality emergency and temporary relocation of local residents, Minnesota regulators, responsible party representatives, and contractors eliminated the usual (and some unusual) roadblocks and built bridges with the affected community. They combined the exceptional communication strategies and tools, public service, easy-to-understand air-quality pollutant and health-related information, innovative air-quality monitors, and relevant external resources (such as those from the American Red Cross, local fire chief, and U.S. Coast Guard) to build a comprehensive, caring, and well-orchestrated response.

    Participants will be encouraged to weigh in on whether the priorities, crisis-planning strategies, and tools (including customized light signals indicating current air pollutant concentration, real-time web graphics, broadcast phone banks and meetings with affected-but-unrelated local workplaces) worked and how their own experiences might have created a different or better outcome. You will come away from this session with a realistic, proven communication action plan that includes strategies for dealing with a wide variety of real and potential internal and external roadblocks.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (33pp/3.5MB)

  • Using Community Benefits Agreements to Improve Your Environment
    Presenters: Michael Wenstrom, U.S. EPA Region 8; Larry Howe-Kerr, Catholic Diocese of Pueblo
    This session uses a case study to examine how community benefits agreements can be used to improve the environment. When Xcel Energy proposed a new 750 megawatt coal-fired unit for its Pueblo Comanche plant in southern Colorado, the community, which is about 50 percent Latino, was sharply divided. Concerns were high over increased emissions in a community that feels it has been disproportionately burdened by air emissions, particularly mercury.

    The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) convened a public meeting to hear the Pueblo community's concerns. More than 20 community members testified against the expansion. It was estimated that the prospective plant's added mercury emissions would increase Pueblo's share of state airborne mercury emissions from 38 percent to nearly 50 percent. The PUC members at the meeting were impressed with both the turnout and the cogency and passion of the community's arguments. After the meeting, Xcel approached the community to discuss what Pueblo residents would need to turn around their opposition to the proposed new plant. A group of community stakeholders joined with regional and national environmental groups to negotiate with Xcel. After extensive negotiation and exceptional effort by both sides, agreement was reached on a plan that provides broad and significant environmental benefits valued at $300 million to the community, including a net reduction in both nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide emissions from the combined plants. New and positive, though somewhat guarded, relationships have set a new base line for this type of negotiations in the future.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (24pp/865 KB)

Top of Concurrent Sessions

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90-Minute Concurrent Sessions (Tuesday Morning, June 19 through Thursday Morning, June 21)

  • The Former McClellan Air Force Base: Taming the Beast
    Presenters: Linda Geissinger, Shelley Crull, Joseph Clark and Brian Sytsma, Air Force Real Property Agency
    This session presents a case study about the highest ranked Air Force base on the National Priorities List (NPL) and the community involvement program that tamed it. McClellan Air Force Base closed in 1995 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act. Today, despite its NPL ranking, the local community overwhelmingly supports the Air Force's environmental program. In this session, learn about activities to reach your targeted community, and see how the Air Force communicates difficult information, combats negative media, and works with contentious issues.

    Many contentious and bizarre issues have occurred at McClellan over the past 20 years, but with a strong community involvement program, cleanup has progressed. For instance, last year, when the military and regulators declared victory over the creeping problem of groundwater migration, did the Air Force bother to tell anyone? Did anyone care? How did the Air Force make the news relevant to the community? How did the military handle that unexpected discovery of plutonium in a disposal pit? Can the community trust the Air Force when it simply does not have all the answers?

    McClellan's Restoration Advisory Board went from bad, to worse, to "You're fired!" See how the military pulled out of this tailspin to create a cadre of genuinely interested community participants who discuss the cleanup issues within their interest groups and tell the Air Force what they believe is acceptable and of value to them.

    Download Presentations (PDF) (30pp/1.8MB)

  • An Anacostia River That's Clean Doesn't Have to Be A Dream
    Presenters: Frances Desselle, U.S. EPA Office of Water; Glen O'Gilvie and Donald Johnson, Earth Conservation Corps
    This session will focus on the partnership between the U.S. EPA and the Earth Conservation Corps (ECC), a non-profit organization founded in 1989 as a White House domestic policy initiative. This partnership is an example of how a federal agency has invested in a local community-based organization to help it achieve its environmental objectives and support the young people of that community. EEC provides disadvantaged young people with professional development, education, and environmental training and motivates youth as leaders to engage communities in environmental education and service focused on restoring the Anacostia River. As corps members improve their own lives, they help rebuild the environmental, social, and economic health of their community. In 2006, Corps members reached 4,987 youth and adults through their leadership in environmental education and service.

    EPA has provided tools, techniques, activities, and support to help the ECC achieve its goals. EPA has provided training, assistance with the development of community-based outreach initiatives, and mentoring of corps members. An ECC member will provide a "real-world" view of his daily experiences as a corps member.

    This session will focus on the ECC and EPA collaboration and on the successful model used by the ECC to create an awareness of the environment and engage residents of the Anacostia community in environmental activities. An additional interactive session will elicit ideas and suggestions from participants for moving ahead with the project.

    Download Earth Conservation Corps Presentation (PDF)
    (16pp/561KB)
    Download Frances Desselle's Presentation (EPA) (PDF) (17pp/2.0MB)

  • Assuring Authority for Impacted Residents in the Regulatory Collaborative Process
    Presenters: Brian Beveridge and Margaret Gordon, West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project; Richard Grow, U.S. EPA Region 9
    The West Oakland Toxics Reduction Collaborative (WOTRC) is an innovative partnership between the U.S. EPA and the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, a small neighborhood-based community education and environmental advocacy group. Unlike traditional interactions between regulators and residents impacted by the actions of regulated industries, the WOTRC uses an innovative approach to resolving differences. This session presents that creative approach.

    In the traditional paradigm, environmental groups and community members join forces to assert power against regulators and industry. In the WOTRC model, all stakeholders, including impacted residents, industry representatives, regulators, and elected officials, sit at the same table, and all agendas are brought into play. Solutions are sought by identifying synergies and using the inter-relations within the collaborative to overcome stumbling blocks. Neutral facilitation of the primary work groups is provided. Having an informed community resident as co-chair of every collaborative work group assures that community priorities are placed in the forefront of the dialogue. Cross-pollination of ideas helps to eliminate duplication of effort and brings available assets into the open.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (19pp/122KB)

  • A Successful Private-Public-Community Partnership in Spartanburg, South Carolina
    Presenters: Timothy Fields, Tetra Tech EM Inc.; Harold Mitchell, ReGenesis, Inc.; Deborah Waters, Mosaic Company; Cynthia Peurifoy, U.S. EPA Region 4
    This panel will discuss the creation, implementation, and sustainability of a successful private-public-community partnership that has existed for several years and involves the community, local industry, and government representatives in Spartanburg, SC. The actions of this partnership have led to job creation, land revitalization, and environmental and health and safety improvements. The partnership has successfully addressed concerns about air and groundwater quality, environmental assessment and remediation, revitalization of former contaminated properties, and trust among the various stakeholders. A reuse strategy for the area after environmental cleanup is completed also will be presented. Participants can use the lessons learned from this partnership effort to address comparable issues in their communities.

    Download Panel Session (PDF) (7pp/30KB)
    Download Harold Mitchell's Presentation (PDF) (37pp/5.9MB)

  • Building Community Involvement at the Church Rock Chapter to Strengthen Navajo Sovereignty
    Presenters: Lillie Lane and Diana Malone, Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency; Larry King, Church Rock Uranium Monitoring Project; Chris Shuey, Southwest Research and Information Center
    The Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency (NNEPA) diligently protects the environmental resources of the Navajo people and their lands. NNEPA has worked with many communities, but the Church Rock Chapter and community is unique because it has been impacted by former uranium mining and milling and currently is dealing with proposals for new uranium mining. The collaborations of NNEPA, the Southwest Research and Information Center, and Church Rock Chapter have proven to be a successful model for Navajo Nation chapters and communities.

    Each of the 110 Chapters of the Navajo Nation are local governments authorized by the Local Government Act of the Navajo Nation to address local issues and concerns. The Church Rock Chapter wants to create a healthy community for its elders and young generations. It do so, it has been seeking new knowledge and forming partnerships with other tribal, federal, and non-governmental organizations to begin addressing detrimental environmental impacts. The Church Rock Chapter has succeeded in this effort with the help of scientific experts from the outside the tribe, tribal environmental professionals, and the true desire of the Navajo people for a clean and healthy community.

    Download Larry King's Presentation (PDF) (26pp/4.7MB)
    Download Lillie Lane's Presentation - Part One (PDF) (27pp/7.7MB)
    Download Lillie Lane's Presentation - Part Two (PDF) (3pp/15KB)
    Download United Nuclear Corporation Superfund Site Presentation (PDF) (28pp/415KB)


  • Building the Capacity of Watershed-Based Community Groups
    Presenters: Wendy Wilson, River Network; Baird Straughan, Institute for Conservation Leadership
    This session will share results and techniques used by River Network (RN) and the Watershed Support Network (WSN) during a three-year, U.S. EPA Targeted Watershed Initiative Capacity-Building Grant to produce the organizational and technical capacity of watershed partnerships across the country. This framework, which was created by the WSN, is an important step forward in the practice of measuring environmental results of capacity-building efforts. WSN trainers established measurable parameters, such as Indicators of Organizational Strength; Indicators of Best Management Practices; Community Involvement Measures; and Indicators of Watershed Participation.

    Preliminary results indicate dramatic organizational and environmental outcomes: Eighty-four percent of the watershed groups reported greater community involvement; 61 percent said they changed public attitudes; 43 percent reported behavioral changes in ways that reduce pollution; 11 percent improved cleanup efforts at contaminated sites; 7 percent improved waters used for swimming; and 5 percent improved drinking water supplies. Watershed groups that received capacity-building help from WSN trainers were demonstrably stronger organizations, as well. The median budget of these groups increased by $18,000. They diversified their funding sources by adding new revenue streams to their budgets, and they were less financially reliant on EPA 319 funding.

    This session will detail the support and training measures provided to the most effective groups and how capacity-building practitioners can increase the capacity of community groups to achieve environmental results.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (37pp/1.6MB)

  • CICs and Critical Incident Stress Management Assistance — What Gives?
    Presenters: Ellen Banner and Arlene Anderson, U.S. EPA Response & Prevention Branch
    EPA Superfund workers encounter a wide-range of challenging on-the-job stresses, including the emotional pain of communities impacted by Superfund sites or other disasters, time constraints, and bureaucratic hurdles. As advocates for communities, CICs are particularly subject to job-related stresses, and reacting to it is normal. EPA's proactive Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Program offers services a preventive CISM Program teaches EPA workers to anticipate stressors and shape their individual responses and stress management approaches in constructive ways. This workshop will help CICs develop effective stress reduction techniques and stress management skills. It also will inform them about available CISM tools to help manage workloads, balance lifestyles, and recognize normal reactions to disasters.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (44pp/413KB)

  • Community Involvement in Pollution Prevention: Engaging Communities in Reducing Risks
    Presenters: Marva King, U.S. EPA CARE Program; Davis Zhen, U.S. EPA Region 10; Holly Wilson, U.S. EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards; Carl Lindquist, Central Lake Superior Watershed Partnership
    Preventing pollution (P2) involves working together as a community to identify green and cost-saving alternatives to the materials, processes, appliances, and chemicals that lead to detrimental environmental impacts. Effective P2 programs respond not only to local health and environmental issues, but also to small business needs in the spirit of non-regulatory innovation. U.S. EPA's Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) projects have been promoting P2 through incentives, technical assistance, education, and other voluntary measures in communities across the country. Through CARE, communities create local collaborative partnerships that implement local solutions to reduce releases of, and minimize exposure to, toxic pollutants.

    Download Healthy Nail Salon Presentation (PDF) (27pp/684KB)
    Download Helping Auto Shops Be Good Neighbors (36pp/3.0MB)
    Download Community Action for a Renewed Environment (PDF) (64pp/9.9MB)

  • Community Organizing for Environmental Change: Lessons Learned from the Jacksonville Community Affairs Subcommittee
    Presenters: José Francisco García, Jr., U.S. EPA Region 9; Dr. Mildred McClain, Harambee House/Citizens for Environmental Justice; Diane Kerr, North Riverside Community Development Corporation; Dr. Angela T. Alleyne, Edward Waters College; Kenneth Pinnix, Jacksonville Community Development and Brownfields Redevelopment Program
    As part of this year's CIC, the Community Affairs Subcommittee set out to engage residents, other federal, state and local agencies, nonprofit organizations and academic institutions in a forum to address some of the most pressing environmental injustice issues impacting Jacksonville, FL. A community-driven planning committee has worked for months leading up to the CIC to identify environmental and health issues that are of concern and bring together the right stakeholders to address them. The planning committee's efforts culminate on Monday, June 18th, at a facilitated public collaborative problem-solving session designed to address environmental injustice issues identified by the community. This training session will cover lessons learned from this collaborative community organizing process. The training will be presented by EPA staff and Jacksonville community leaders who led the effort. Special attention will be given to how the community plans to sustain efforts to resolve environmental and health problems in Jacksonville.

  • Cooperative Conservation: Community Environmental Management Systems
    Presenters: Clarence Brown, County Commissioner, Bartow County, GA; Dona DeLeon and Rita Wayco, U.S. EPA Region 4; Stacy Martindale, State of Indiana; and Jimmy Parrish, Defense Supply Center
    This session will present three distinct approaches for establishing and implementing environmental management systems, including EPA Region 4's countywide EMS in Bartow County, Georgia, the Virginia Regional Environmental Management System (V-REMS), and Indiana CLEAN. The Bartow County effort includes the State of Georgia, county officials, business and industry representatives, agriculture leaders, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. This EMS has resulted in improved air quality and reductions in solid waste production, energy consumption, and water use. As part of this discussion, an EMS toolkit will be presented. V-REMS is a multi-level partnership between the Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, City of Richmond and Chesterfield County. V-REMs provides an opportunity to coordinate environmental activities from a regional perspective and has helped significantly strengthen the lines of communication between the partnering organizations and their stakeholders. Indiana CLEAN representatives will describe their activities and the results of their implementation of an EMS. They will discuss the techniques involved in implementing an EMS, identify the benefits of regional EMSs to homeland security and community preparedness, and highlight successful ways to save money with quantitative and qualitative environmental results.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (18pp/291KB)

  • Destination Healthy Kids: Roadmap for Schools, Communities and Health Organizations
    Presenters: Pamela Collins, American Lung Association; Debra Price, Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County
    A report from the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine finds evidence linking common indoor pollutants to the development or worsening of asthma symptoms in susceptible people. The report states that "better communication between medical, public health, behavioral science, engineering, and building professionals is likely to result in more informed studies on the causes of asthma and the means to limit problematic exposures." This session will describe and provide data, methods, and frameworks available to encourage collaboration among schools, homes, and impacted communities for recognizing existing and emerging air pollution threats and identifying courses of action. Each presenter will provide an overview of their program and highlight the struggles and successes they have had along the way to accomplishing their missions.

    Download American Lung Association Presentation (PDF) (31pp/826KB)
    Download Tample Bay Asthma Coalition Presentation (PDF) (27pp/326KB)

  • Ensuring Community Involvement When Siting Schools on Contaminated Sites
    Presenters: Steven Fischbach, Rhode Island Legal Services; Stacey Gonzalez, Center for Health, Environment & Justice; Veronica Eady, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
    Local school districts in low-income communities across the nation are choosing to build schools on or near former industrial sites, garbage dumps, and other contaminated properties and are doing so with little or no community involvement. Once the community learns that a contaminated site has been chosen for a new school, the remaining opportunities for community involvement usually are limited to decisions about investigating the site and developing a site cleanup plan. That process, which is dominated by environmental consultants and regulators who already know the process, leaves local residents playing catch-up because they typically lack the necessary scientific and regulatory expertise and the financial resources to hire their own experts.

    In this session, the presenters will discuss case studies that typify the lack of community involvement in selecting new school sites and in investigating and cleaning up the sites. Using the case studies as a starting point, participants will be asked to develop a list of practices to increase community involvement in the school site-selection process and in the development of cleanup plans for selected sites that have environmental contamination. That list will be compared with the findings of an EPA-funded research project that focused on existing community involvement practices regarding the selection of school sites on or near sources of environmental pollution.

  • Getting the Word Out - Strategizing Effective Public Communication
    Presenters: Sandi Potter, Mary Rose Cassa, California Regional Water Quality Control Board; Lucy Goodell
    This session will describe the Water Board's public participation tools and present a case history of community involvement. The case concerns at a site where volatile organic compounds from a groundwater plume beneath their community were detected in several homes.

    The nine California Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Water Boards) are public agencies and their key decisions are made in a public process. In the case of actions by the Boards during a public meeting, the process includes public notice of the agenda and a public comment period followed by a Board action in an open meeting. However, in the Water Boards' site cleanup program, Board staff makes many decisions outside the formal Board setting that could affect stakeholders. Such decisions could concern sites that may not rise to the level of requiring a Board hearing, or involve reaching a milestone before a Board hearing is required. Providing opportunities for public involvement in our site cleanup program increases the quality and the credibility of the Water Boards' cleanup decisions.

    Staff must address public participation for the whole range of cleanup sites overseen by the Water Boards. These range from higher-threat sites (sites that pose significant threat to water quality or human health or sites that are complex, such as federal Superfund sites) to lower threat sites (e.g. most leaking underground fuel tank cases). The presentation will include opportunities for participants to develop key components of communication to the affected residents about the contamination.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (26pp/644KB)

  • Keep Rural Communities Involved and Informed About Chemical Weapons Destruction
    Presenters: Jeannine Natterman, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
    One of the toughest aspects of environmental cleanup programs for communities is the time it takes to get from investigation to cleanup completion. Destruction of the chemical weapons at the Pueblo Chemical Depot has been an issue since the late 1980s. In 2007, the weapons are still there, and with current funding commitments, will likely be there until the current projected completion year: 2020. With so many programmatic starts, stops, and slowdowns, it has become increasingly difficult to get-and keep-the community's attention and involvement. The diversity of Pueblo County's population requires a full and versatile community involvement and public participation toolbox. Pueblo County has both rural and urban components, and each has its preferred forms of communication. Public information professionals responsible for maintaining open communication channels are using a variety of activities to accomplish this goal, the most important of which is conducting interviews to evaluate how community members see the project at any given point and what they need to understand the complex, and at times frustrating, bureaucratic process.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (22pp/5.3MB)

  • Key Messages: Your Keys to Success
    Presenters: Mike Rogers and Briana Bill, U.S. EPA Region 5
    Key messages are the most important points you have to make on a specific subject when communicating with an audience. These well-crafted take-home messages can help you communicate consistently and more effectively with the public, and they can help you achieve better understanding, involvement, and support from groups of people that can make or break your overall effort.

    In this session, you will learn how to fashion key messages that help you and your project team cut through the fog of competing messages posed by the regulated party, its professional public relations staff, or discontented community groups. Key messages help you set the agenda for interacting with the news media by presenting positive points in a way that reporters can use easily. You will learn how to boost your overall communication effectiveness by using key messages as the basis for written outreach, public presentations, and news media briefings. You will learn how to produce key messages that are as memorable as a good advertising slogan or bumper sticker-brief, simple, and easily understood by people who do not have a scientific or technical background. To a farmer, that means bringing in a bigger crop. To an airline pilot, it means reaching a destination faster. In the same way, key messages can be the tool that helps you communicate more effectively and achieve your goals. It's all about learning to use better tools.

    Download Presentation Key Points (PDF) (2pp/46KB)

  • Libraries as Environmental Information Centers: How to Maximize Community Collaborations
    Presenters: Frederick Stoss, University at Buffalo
    "Environmental information is the process that transfers data and information from source to user in any field of knowledge or activity applicable to environmental problem solving." (Dosa). Community attention to environmental information grows while enhancements in services and technologies change how the information is produced, identified, and consumed. Libraries are time-honored and trusted components of the community landscape. They are places to think, gather, and find resources. Libraries and librarians help the communities they serve by gathering factual information to increase the understanding of issues, alert community stakeholders to the ramifications of various factors, and use the factual information and stakeholder involvement to influence or change outcomes. All of these steps are enhanced by involving libraries and librarians as community partners.

    The search for environmental information is similar to standing at the base of a towering cliff unprepared to begin the laborious climb. You are likely to be looking at only a small part of the whole mountain of information, with great difficulties and frustrations, real and perceived, that prevent you from finding a direct and successful route to the top of the mountain of information in front of you. Step back from the cliff wall. View the mountain in its entirety. Gather the gear and expertise provided by your libraries and librarians, and plot an exact and systematic ascent to the summit. This presentation will show you how to effectively use library collections, expertise, and services, and how to develop your skills for networking and finding critical environmental information.

    Download Presentation (PDF)
    (35pp/1.6MB)

  • Partnering Community Lawyers and Organizers to Build Community Involvement
    Presenters: Steven Fischbach, Rhode Island Legal Services; Veronica
    A basic tenet of environmental justice is meaningful involvement by low-income communities and communities of color in decision-making by environmental regulators. Community groups representing low-income and non-white communities frequently seek legal assistance to obtain meaningful involvement in environmental decision-making, but in many cases, the lawyers themselves fail to meaningfully involve their clients in developing legal and non-legal strategies.

    Community Lawyering is an emerging approach that embraces client involvement to representing community interests. Instead of dictating strategy, practitioners of community lawyering listen carefully to their clients and welcome their involvement in virtually all aspects of legal representation. Community lawyers team up with community organizers to help community groups develop strategies for environmental justice campaigns. Community organizers provide staffing resources for community groups and help the groups develop goals for short- and long-term environmental justice campaigns. Legal advice is sought to help groups decide upon strategies to achieve those goals.

    This session will introduce participants to the use of Community Lawyering. Panelists will discuss the roles of lawyers, organizers, and community groups in environmental justice campaigns, using examples from their work. Participants will take part in a role-playing exercise by assuming the role of lawyers, organizers, and community residents. A hypothetical environmental justice controversy will be presented and participants will be asked to develop strategies to address the controversy using their assigned role. At the end, participants will be asked to describe the challenges posed by teaming lawyers, organizers, and community groups.

  • Podcast It: Enhancing Community and Public Involvement Using Digital Media
    Presenters: Leticia Solaun and Lorraine Jameson, CH2MHILL, Inc.; Jennifer Robinson, University of Florida; Kate Parmelee, City of Gainesville
    Emerging communications technology provides public outreach and involvement practitioners with new media through which to engage and inform a wide range of public audiences. To this end, the use of digital media for public involvement is becoming an integral component in effective outreach and communication. This session will address the implications of this technology within an environmental and health context, provide an overview of three technologies (podcasts, text messages, and webisodes), and help participants understand the resources necessary to use these technologies. A hands-on group exercise will show participants how to create a podcast and text message that informs target audiences in a given environmental or health scenario.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (35pp/566KB)

  • Pooches for the Planet: Neighborhoods Working to Reduce Pet Waste
    Presenters: Nanette O'Hara, Tampa Bay Estuary Program
    Pet waste is increasingly being identified throughout the nation as a significant source of both bacterial contamination and excess nutrients in urban waterways. The Tampa Bay Estuary Program's (TBEP) "Pooches for the Planet" program seeks to increase awareness of the public health and water quality impacts of dog poop, and to encourage dog owners to pick up after their pets. Using community-based social marketing techniques, TBEP initiated an eight-month intensive pilot project in 2006 in a neighborhood bordering a Tampa Bay tributary that is designated as impaired for fecal coliform. The neighborhood contains an extensive park and greenway system that is popular with dog walkers. Baseline data on dog poop in the park was collected and displayed on a GIS map, presentations were made about the problem to the civic association, and a monthly information station was staffed by neighborhood residents to provide free information and poop bag dispensers to dog owners. Follow-up mapping was conducted every two months to determine progress in reducing pet waste along the waterfront. The program received extensive publicity and is now being expanded to other neighborhoods. This presentation will explore the techniques and messages that were successful and those that were not. It will examine how environmental results were calculated and discuss how the program was modified as a result of lessons learned along the way.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (16pp/2.0MB)

  • Strategies for Meaningful Community Engagement in Brownfields Redevelopment
    Presenters: Lynn Ross, American Planning Association; Mildred Wiley, Bethel New Life, Inc.; Mary Nelson, Bethel New Life, Inc.
    What does it take to create and maintain a collaborative brownfields redevelopment process? What are the best strategies to foster meaningful community engagement? In many brownfields redevelopment projects, community groups are left out of the process. However, they represent the main constituency that suffers from the negative impact of vacant and abandoned brownfield sites. The American Planning Association and Bethel New Life, Inc. are currently working under a U.S. EPA grant to create a workbook and training program designed to help community development corporations (CDCs), empowered residents, and similar groups actively and effectively participate in brownfields redevelopment.

    Session participants will hear about the "Creating Community-Based Brownfields Redevelopment Strategies" project experience. The session will explore different tools and techniques identified by APA and Bethel for educating and engaging the community in brownfields redevelopment issues. The session also will feature an interactive discussion with participants about their own experiences (positive and negative) engaging communities around brownfields issues. The results of the discussion will be incorporated into the final workbook and training module. Participants will leave the session with a better understanding of how the community perceives brownfields redevelopment and some tools with which to boost community involvement.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (24pp/1.3MB)

  • Technological Solutions to Engaging Citizens: How to Expand Your Reach
    Presenters: Evan Paul and Susanna Haas Lyons, AmericaSpeaks
    Traditional face-to-face models of public participation have been used effectively at all levels of government to engage local communities in policy decisions, but these engagement techniques have limitations. For example, it is difficult and typically not cost efficient to use face-to-face models of participation to reach citizens or stakeholders who are widely dispersed geographically or who have physical disabilities.

    New models of public participation that feature enhanced use of technology can address many barriers of geography and physical ability. Engaging people in decentralized, user-scheduled dialogue can overcome many geographic and mobility and speech challenges. Alternate public participation techniques, including the use of relatively low-cost technologies, have been used successfully to expand the number of people who can participate in and influence policy decisions.

    This session will provide basic principles of effective engagement for use in high-technology, highly interactive, decentralized meetings. Presenters will draw on experiences from their real-life community involvement work to demonstrate the effectiveness of this meeting format. Case studies include:

    • Community Congress II, which engaged 2,500 participants across 21 cities to develop the New Orleans Unified Plan for Citywide Redevelopment of New Orleans
    • Voices & Choices, which involved the use of on-line dialogues and other innovative engagement techniques to plan economic revitalization for 16 northeastern Ohio counties
    • Listening to the City, an on-line dialogue conducted in parallel with face-to-face discussions on the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site

    Download Presentation (PDF) (58pp/4.4MB)

  • Temporary Transitional Housing for a Tribal Nation 101: Lessons Learned
    Presenters: Pui Man Wong, U.S. EPA Region 9; Cheryl Steele, Former Elem Tribal Environmental Director and U.S. EPA Project Subcontractor
    This presentation examines the Temporary Transitional Housing Program of the 2006 U.S. EPA Region 9 Superfund mine waste removal action at the Elem Indian Colony in Clearlake Oaks, California. The 50-acre tribal area is adjacent to the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM) Superfund Site, which was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in August 1990. Mine waste containing high levels of mercury, arsenic, and antimony were transported by the Bureau of Indian Affairs from the adjacent mine and placed in the Elem residential area as road base and housing pads in the 1970's.

    The mine site itself and the contamined wetlands and lake will be addressed in future cleanup activities. In October 2005, the U.S. EPA and the Elem Pomo Tribal government selected the remedy to remove the contaminated mine waste from the residential area on tribal lands to protect human health. The temporary transitional housing program was designed to protect the health and safety of residents during the construction phase of the mine waste removal. All tribal members and residents living on tribal land participated in the program and were placed in rental housing for seven months during the total removal cleanup action. This session presents a case study of the process put in place for the transitional housing aspect of the removal action, the interaction with the tribal members and government, county government, local businesses, community concerns and the responses to those concerns, program successes and failures, and lessons learned.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (29pp/1.6MB)

  • The State of Environmental Justice 2007: As Presented by Community, EPA and Academia
    Presenters: LeVonne Stone, Fort Ord Environmental Justice Network; Peter deFur, Environmental Stewardship Concepts; LaDonna Williams, People's For Children's Health & EJ
    In 1994, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12898: "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations." This order requires all federal agencies to incorporate environmental justice into their missions. Specifically, federal agencies are required to address situations where their programs, policies, or activities result in adverse health or environmental impacts that are disproportionately high and adverse in low-income communities and communities of color. Twelve years later, Executive Order 12898 is, at best, a disappointment. In this session, we will describe the state of environmental justice in the U.S. Leaders of California community groups will describe their struggles to obtain fair treatment for persons of color or low income. The desired outcome of this panel discussion is to foster better agency understanding of and responsiveness to citizen concerns about potential threats to their health and the environment and the need to reduce emissions to which communities are exposed.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (16pp/928KB)

  • The Whole Enchilada - An Innovative Turn-Key Approach to Environmental Ed
    Presenters: Mary Jean Hayden and Sara Snell, Texas Master Naturalists
    "Bay and Island Adventures" goes beyond developing a curriculum and training teachers. The program's community volunteers sponsor, manage, and conduct a yearlong interactive curriculum that teaches students and educators about local ecosystems. Volunteers provide all equipment and supplies, train interested teachers, conduct six in-class modules, lead a Junior Naturalist club, guide both class and club fieldtrips, conduct the Camp Wild summer day camp, and fund all program elements.

    Presenters will discuss what worked and what did not during the last five years. They will share successful techniques for developing a partnership with school administration and classroom teachers; identifying, recruiting, training, managing and retaining a cadre of motivated volunteers; locating the money; and, most importantly, how to keep it fun for everyone involved. Session participants will see a short Camp Wild video, conduct Junior Naturalist club experiments, and do a bit of volunteer recruitment role-playing. A CD of program materials is provided for participants interested in developing a similar program.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (7pp/1.1MB)

  • Using your Job as a Leadership Platform: Practical Skills/Techniques
    Presenters: Bill Long and Jeremy Ames, U.S. EPA
    Community-based projects can achieve extraordinary results with the right kind of leadership. In the U.S., we have the knowledge to control community-level air toxics and already have models that work for most environmental problems. We also know that implementing environmental programs requires a shift from a project management approach to a leadership approach that mobilizes essential players and resources. This leadership style is a skill that can be learned, but it takes clear intent, courage, and, most importantly, significant support from peers and mentors.

    This session will be facilitated by U.S. EPA's Community Leadership Training team (CLT). The CLT teaches communities how to tap into existing resources, relationships, and energy in their communities to achieve compelling air toxic reduction goals, such as reduced asthma rates, cleaner air in schools, and radon reduction. An accelerated leadership approach helps community leaders generate excitement, form partnerships, make deals, break through complexity and obstacles to participation and solutions, and secure the resources needed to achieve dramatic air toxics reductions.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (28pp/171KB)

  • Utilizing Healthy Housing Concepts to Improve Community Health
    Presenters: Marva King, U.S. EPA CARE Program; Margit Brazda Poirier, Center for Environmental Information; Marlene Grossman, Pacoima Beautiful; Ralph Scott, Alliance for Healthy Homes
    No family should have to choose between affordable and healthy housing. Healthy Homes is a century-old concept that promotes safe, decent, and sanitary housing as a means for preventing disease and injury. Creating healthier housing promotes healthy growth and development of children and has the potential to save billions in health care costs. Healthy housing is receiving considerable attention from public health professionals and policymakers as a result of emerging scientific evidence linking health outcomes, such as asthma, lead poisoning, and unintentional injuries, to substandard housing. Even newer, expensive homes may have hazards lurking within. With more than six million substandard housing units nationwide, the need to prevent the public health problems that stem from them is enormous. During this session, the concept of healthy homes will be introduced, with special emphasis on integrated pest management, which is the most effective tool to reduce exposure to pests and pesticides.

    Download Pacoima Safer Homes Presentation (PDF) (12pp/850KB)
    Download Rochester, NY CARE Project Presentation (PDF) (20pp/532KB)
    Download Visual Survey Report (PDF) (6pp/150KB)
    View Music Video "Chemical Safety in a Vulnerable World"


  • Vision to Action: A Tool for Community Focus and Motivation
    Presenters: James Waddell, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Doris Marlin, Corps of Engineers; Kim Skidmore, Main St. Starke, Inc.
    How do you find out what redevelopment actions will maintain a community's enthusiasm? What will make people embrace living in and sustaining their neighborhood? For several years the Brownfields Team of the Corps of Engineers has been developing the Vision to Action tool in cooperation with U.S. EPA Region 4. The tool has been refined based on actual experiences with community members in face-to-face interviews and community pilot sessions. It can be applied to address community needs under a variety of EPA programs. Colorful drawing is key to the success of this tool, which has produced insights into community attitudes that have not come to light in traditional workshops. By encouraging participants to draw and discuss their thoughts, the tool takes individuals' ideas and finds common themes that lead to dedicated action. By seeing what is in each other's hearts without relying on consensus, the process inspires hope, grassroots action, and synergistic connections.

    Jim Waddell, who created the Vision to Action tool, will explain the process, and Kim Skidmore of the City of Starke, Florida, will discuss how it helped energize her rural community's revitalization plans and resolve some community frustrations. Participants will observe the process from photos and videos taken at previous workshops and actively participate by drawing and sharing their own visions. All participants will be able to take this tool and apply it in their own communities.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (38pp/7.9MB)
    View video presentation describing "My Vision"

  • We're Talking to Our Neighbors: Lowering Air Toxics Emissions by Visiting Local Businesses
    Presenters: Liz Fairchild, Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc.; Virginia Licea, Rose Family Center
    This past year a new effort initiated under the Community Assist of Southern Arizona (CASA) program has as its goal to reduce emissions of air toxics from businesses through voluntary measures. CASA implements its goals through a "promotora" program that trains individuals from the neighborhood on environmental health issues so they can conduct community outreach. Promotoras visit homes, schools, and businesses; teach skills to others; and provide information and training that makes a true difference in their own neighborhoods. During the past four years, promotoras have visited over 1,000 homes and helped reduce environmental threats to families.

    The new effort will implement a promotora business-visit program, which presents unique challenges. To overcome them, a training program was developed to provide the promotoras with necessary technical knowledge and the confidence to enter the business world. As a community organization and not a regulatory agency, the other major challenge was to find ways to get businesses to participate in pollution prevention (P2) strategies. The first set of visits focused on the auto repair industry. More than 50 percent of the businesses visited participated in one or more P2 strategies, which reduced emissions measurably. The most significant outcomes of this successful effort has been the growing confidence of the promotoras in their ability to implement real change in their community, and the strengthening of the community's ability to make informed environmental health improvement choices and participate in long-term solutions.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (38pp/1.5MB)

  • You Are in My Community AGAIN — What Are You Looking for NOW?
    Presenters: Stephanie Y. Brown, U.S. EPA; Yawanna McDonald, Foothills Community Partnership; Sonja Favors, Alabama Department of Environment; Shirley Baker
    Picture this: You are tasked with getting 12,000 access agreements from homeowners to sample properties for lead. You have only 45 days to do it and you face numerous challenges. The communities to be sampled include an economically challenged environmental justice community and areas with active Superfund sites and industrial facilities. And, in the midst of an ongoing cleanup of PCB-contaminated properties, previous lawsuits on toxics issues resulted in settlements in which some people were said to have benefited who should not have and others, who should have, did not.

    This workshop will transport participants into these communities, visually and emotionally. Participants will hear how we approached a series of challenges, including an agreement that let outreach workers drop off information requesting permission to sample properties, but did not allow them to talk to homeowners. Learn about how EPA, the state environmental agency, and the potentially responsible party teamed up for an aggressive door-to-door campaign to get the word out, and how one community member voluntarily and single-handedly organized an effort to ensure that community members had the opportunity to participate in the sampling of their properties.

    How would you have responded to our request? Would you have signed an access agreement if you lived in this community? What could we have done differently? You tell us! Participants will formulate a long-term community involvement plan for a community that is reluctant to participate and is facing environmental issues that will take many years to address.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (17pp/766KB)

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3-Hour Sessions (Wednesday Afternoon, June 20)

  • Beyond Partnerships: Leveraging the Power of Local Government
    Presenters: Sarah White, U.S. EPA HIO; Byron Mah, U.S. EPA HBO
    Participants will gain a new perspective about how to work with their case teams to leverage the authority of others. Superfund case teams face many challenges as they try to develop site remedies and site management strategies that are cost effective, easily managed, relevant, and inclusive of the needs of the local population. They interact often with many different key stakeholders, especially state and local governments and community groups. They help the community understand the Superfund process and strive to include diverse perspectives in their decision-making process.

    The goal of this presentation is to enhance participants' skills for working with stakeholders and identifying opportunities to foster partnerships that lead to shared solutions at contaminated sites. The presentation will focus on how to build support at the local level for navigating through the intricacies of the politics and the procedures involved in getting things done at most Superfund sites. Presenters will use brief lectures, case studies, and interactive group exercises to translate the course materials into practice. The presenters have extensive experience working with diverse groups of stakeholders at numerous NPL sites across New England.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (43pp/2.2MB)
    Download Institutional Controls Guide (PDF) (9pp/1.7MB)
    Public Meetings Webpage at the University of Vermont Exit EPA Disclaimer

  • Jacksonville Communities and Environment, Challenges and Solutions
    Presenters: Aaron L. Hilliard and David Jones, Duval County Health Department; Diane Kerr, North Riverside Community Development Corporation
    Without diverse partnerships, individual public and environmental health programs rarely produce maximum results on their own. This session uses lectures and interactive exercises based on actual community related environmental health issues facing Jacksonville, Florida to illustrate the effectiveness of a collaborative process developed by the Environmental Health Division of Duval County.

    This session will coach you to:

    • Implement a community-based methodology to assess the environmental health needs of communities
    • Understand the importance of community attitudes and values
    • Form the most effective partnerships
    • Improve communication to reduce conflict
    • Advocate for environmental health-based education through environmental medicine for health care practitioners

    Download Presentation (PDF) (61pp/1.4MB)
    Download Overview of Environmental Medicine (PDF) (26pp/85KB)
    Download Overview "A Road Traveled.." Presentation (PDF) (31pp/5.0MB)

  • Prepare and Respond for Community Involvement During Large-Scale Emergencies
    Presenters: Helen DuTeau, U.S. EPA Region 3; Sherryl Carbonaro, U.S. EPA Region 4; Jessica Wieder and Helen Burnett, U.S. EPA Headquarters; Ted Linnert, U.S. EPA Region 8
    This dynamic and interactive session is designed for members of the Regional Response Corps and anyone who may be deployed as a public affairs or community involvement resource during major emergencies. Participants will get a crash course in how to work within the Incident Command System and where they are likely to be located during a response. You'll learn about all the different jobs you may be asked to do as a community involvement or public affairs resource, and most importantly, you'll be prepared to respond effectively. At the end of the session, you will be able to:

    • Recognize where you fit in the Incident Command System
    • Identify the various jobs you may be assigned
    • Plan for the unexpected
    • Apply key skills needed to manage community involvement during emergencies

    Download Presentation (PDF)
    (21pp/1.7MB)

  • Working with Difficult People
    Presenters: Mary Wenska, Wenska Communications Works, LLC
    Supervisors, project managers and staff, personnel from other agencies, and community members all have the potential to be demanding, stubborn, frustrating, and intractable-in other words, to be difficult people. Figuring out how to foster productive working relationships with difficult people is an important challenge for EPA and others. This workshop provides useful diagnostic tools for understanding the differences among people and difficult people. It offers practical skill sets and approaches for dealing with personality clashes, divergent priorities, and other conflicts.

    Download Presentation (PDF)
    (40pp/227KB)

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Optional Training

Nine optional training and skills development courses will be offered at this year's conference.

Four-Hour Training (Thursday Afternoon, June 20 or Friday Afternoon, June 22)

  • Community-Based Mapping with Geographic Information Systems
    Presenters: David Padgett, Tennessee State University
    The primary objective of this workshop is to train community organizations and stakeholders on the use of geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), and remote sensing technology to document and map community environmental problem sites and community environmental assets. Environmental problem sites may include dilapidated buildings, toxic substance releases, and illegal dumpsites. Examples of environmental assets are informal emergency shelters, green spaces, and urban trees.

    Participants will be led through a mock spatial data collection process using GIS and GPS. The session will begin with a presentation of examples of community mapping projects. After brief preparations, the group will move to the outdoor data collection phase of the workshop, during which they will use hand-held GPS receivers to collect point locations and attribute information on sites of interest. The handwritten data collected during the outdoor exercise will be converted into digital format and included in GIS maps. A group discussion will focus on how the GIS maps and their supporting attribute databases can enhance residents' efforts to locate and monitor the status of problem sites or highlight community assets, especially sites without easily identifiable street addresses. Low-cost and free methods and resources for effective community-based mapping will be shared. Participants will learn the ways stakeholders can use community mapping to graphically display places where corrective action is needed and how these maps can be used to demonstrate community needs in support of grant writing efforts.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (30pp/1.6MB)
    Download Workbook (PDF) (22pp/956KB)
    Download Worksheet (PDF) (1pg/41KB)

  • Learning from Disaster: Gulf Storms, Environmental Threats & Disaster Preparedness
    Presenters: John Sullivan, University of Texas Medical Branch; Bryan Parras, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services
    In this session, participants will:

    • View a film entitled "after the wind, child, after the water's gone," which documents post-Katrina interviews with environmental advocates and citizens. The film was compiled onsite in six south Louisiana parishes between October 5 and December 21, 2005. It was an Official Selection in the 2006 New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival and has been screened in numerous regional venues, including Rice University's Media Center and the Southwest Regional Global Health Education Conference 2006.
    • Listen to a Power Point presentation that describes how content from these interviews and an analysis of environmental sampling and epidemiological data from federal and state agencies informed the design and implementation of a Community-Based Participatory Research process. This research process focuses on identifying and addressing site-specific aspects of coastal deterioration; evacuation procedures; immediate and ongoing mental health issues; and specific environmental health threats from mold, water and wind borne pathogens, and industrial and household toxics in south Terrebonne-Lafourche parishes.
    • Learn about elements of Community Environmental Forum Theatre to establish local storm threat priorities, evaluate contingency plans, and develop effective models of risk communication.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (47pp/6.2MB)

  • Merging Appreciative Inquiry and World Caf? for High Engagement Events
    Presenters: Claudia Haack, Virchow, Krause & Company, LLP
    Participants will learn the basic principles of Appreciative Inquiry and World Caf?, which are two methods that help diverse and divisive stakeholders find common ground for sustainable action. These techniques have been applied and proven effective in a wide range of situations-from traditional outreach efforts to innovative public-private collaborations.

    Appreciative Inquiry promotes positive-change by helping participants discover what works well and create a mutual vision from which to act. Instead of reiterating and differentiating problems further, Appreciative Inquiry helps people look for solutions together. It is an ideal planning and management tool because it catalyzes a cascade of conversations about what has been most successful and builds on it.

    World Caf? is an easy-to-use method that gathers people at small tables to engage in conversations that matter. It fosters collaborative dialogue, particularly in large groups as people rotate from table to table. The method keeps people moving forward, thinking outside the box, and building on one another's ideas. World Caf? is used to engage people, especially those who do not know one another, in authentic conversation to generate input, share knowledge, and conduct in-depth exploration of key strategic challenges or opportunities in a very short period of time.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (22pp/304KB)
    Download World Café to-go (PDF) (7pp/591KB)

  • Risk Communications: Developing Effective Messages for Community Emergencies
    Presenters: Helen Burnett and Jessica Wieder, U.S. EPA Office of Air and Radiation
    During emergencies, public officials often are called upon to talk about risks and safety precautions for the public. Effective communications in these moments can make a significant difference in the outcome of the emergency. Effective risk communications can inspire confidence, build credibility, and, most importantly, contribute to saving lives and minimizing injury.

    This session will provide an overview of the principles and techniques of risk communication, with a focus on developing and delivering compelling messages for use during an emergency. It will introduce participants to message development and the importance of using easy-to-understand messages and motivate participants to take additional training in risk communications. The training session features simulated emergency incidents in which participants will have an opportunity to apply what they have learned.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (42pp/405KB)

  • Tribal Training Modules for Outreach at Superfund Mine Sites
    Presenters: Brenda Brandon, Haskell Indian Nations University; Terrie Boguski, Blase Leven and Dr. Sabine Martin, Kansas State University
    Contaminant concerns affecting tribal land and water are often associated with culturally sensitive issues that can present challenges during technical outreach and risk communication processes. Because tribal cleanup, restoration, and redevelopment activities usually focus on sites that are actively used by the community, residents may perceive limitations in the corrective action plans. Tribal members practicing cultural and subsistence lifestyles are especially concerned about the timeliness and completeness of cleanup/restoration, as their very existence may depend on sustainability of valuable natural resources.

    This workshop showcases training modules and tools to help tribal communities and other stakeholders understand, communicate, and provide appropriate input about environmental projects. A multi-media presentation, exercises, and an interactive game will illustrate how to use the training modules that cover the following topics:

    • Culturally Competent Community Involvement Frameworks, which are techniques for engaging communities, reaching consensus about community goals, and getting important topics acknowledged and addressed;
    • Tools that Link Risk and Traditional Ecological Knowledge, including special graphic models, fact sheets, and evaluation methods to help communicate risk and foster effective community input about subsistence lifestyle exposures to contaminants;
    • Community Capacity Building Approaches to Address Risk and Cleanup concerns, including options for remedies to prevent exposure to contaminants, which are presented in wall charts, diagrams and presentations that can be tailored to specific tribal needs; and
    • Methods to Address Environmental Justice Concerns, including ways to acknowledge problem definition issues and bridge information gaps, such as monitoring and risk management that may not be addressed immediately by cleanup activities or improvement in water quality standards.

  • Vapor Intrusion: Dealing with a Silent Threat and Public Uproar
    "The ABCs of the XYZ Site" Training Exercise

    Presenters: Vance Evans, Marcos Aquino, Andrew Fan and David Polish, U.S. EPA Region 3
    Experienced communications specialists and technical presenters will use hands-on technical instruction and a tabletop mock public meeting exercise (based on actual site scenarios) in this interesting and challenging workshop. The goal is to help Community Involvement practitioners and others understand basic vapor intrusion science, provide more effective environmental education and facilitate better community involvement. Skills learned can be applied to other types of difficult site scenarios.

    Background: Although EPA has addressed soil, air, and water contaminated with volatile organic compounds from spills, etc. for many years, the focus has broadened recently to include vapors that move from the ground to indoor air ("vapor intrusion"). Vapor intrusion sites, particularly those with leaking underground tanks, pose many technical issues and raise public concerns; due to the uncertainty about extent of contamination and length of residential exposure to site-related (or even house-related) vapors.

    In some cases, concern can turn to fear, hostility and distrust. This can not only hamper site investigations and cleanups, but also hinder EPA's ability to communicate complex technical issues and data.

    Addressing concerns about vapor intrusion requires a commitment to effective stakeholder involvement and to identifying and eradicating potentially damaging personal agendas. Environmental cleanup professionals and responsible parties must be sensitive to the need to both gather data and conduct cleanups, as well as managing effective and empathetic communication dynamics. Likewise, the community and government officials must work to maintain a healthy balance of concern, effective participation and restraint. This exercise addresses these needs and can help participants improve the two-way communications dynamics involved with addressing environmental issues.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (112pp/9.9MB)

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Eight-Hour Training (Thursday Afternoon, June 20, to Friday Afternoon, June 22)

  • Be Prepared—Working with the News Media
    Presenters: Pamela Avery and Dominic Frederico, Bozell LLC

    Registration Restricted: This course is open ONLY to EPA, other federal, and state participants and is limited to 12 participants who have taken a basic media/spokesperson training workshop.

    Media/spokesperson training is a must for anyone called upon to speak about an EPA program, project, or issue. What you say and how you say it is critical to getting information out to the news media, community groups, and others. This workshop is designed to give participants the confidence they need to explain their work and talk about tough issues. Participants will learn how to prepare for interviews and public speaking engagements, craft appropriate messages, and deliver those messages effectively - under pressure or in a crisis. They also will learn how newsrooms operate and their rights as interview subjects.

    This highly interactive course features customized scenarios relevant to each participant's programs or projects, and one-on-one videotaped training sessions with a professional interviewer and TV photojournalist. Each participant will receive an EPA Media Training Manual that includes topics covered in the workshop.

  • Community Involvement and Your Thinking Style
    Presenters: Alvin Chun, U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development; Renelle Rae, U.S. EPA Office of Air and Radiation
    Everyone working on a community involvement project contributes to its success or failure. While reaching agreement and a commitment to action is challenging and complex, it helps ensure success. This eight-hour workshop provides some insights on:

    • Essentials for building individual rapport and a high-trust environment
    • Understanding your style of thinking and that of others
    • Persuading others to take action
    • Overcoming differences
    • Resolving conflicts

    Building rapport starts with knowing how others think. Participants will have an opportunity to take the "Styles on Thinking Questionnaire (InQ)," which is on cognitive thinking preferences. The self-scoring InQ provides insights on an individual's strategies for communicating information, asking questions, making decisions, persuading others, and building community. Teams, action groups, and communities are comprised of people with a variety of views and thinking styles. The InQ can be used as an "ice breaker" or team-building exercise to shape a cohesive, collaborative community action group.

    Download Risk Communication and Public Involvement Presentation (Alvin Chun) (PDF) (52pp/468KB)
    Download Community Involvement and Your Thinking Style (Rae/Chun) (PDF)
    (19pp/578KB)

  • You Get What You Measure
    Presenters: Shanna Ratner and Melissa Levy, Yellow Wood Associates, Inc.
    Everyone likes to see progress. Measurement provides tangible evidence of progress that motivates further action. This is true whether the goal is physical fitness, fund raising, environmental health, or literacy. Measurement helps people know where they are now, and helps them get to where they want to be. Choosing what to measure and how are creative processes that involve action and reflection. The measurement process presented during this session can be used to test your assumptions about the way the world works, reframe what is important to you, and create a new focus for your energies. What do you really want? And how will you know when you're getting it? In a world that is beginning to recognize the difference between outputs (the things we do) and outcomes (what actually happens as a result), increasingly we are asked to provide concrete evidence that our efforts are making a difference. The process of identifying indicators and developing measures of progress can be a powerful tool for personal and organizational development as well as a key to reflection and learning. This workshop will engage participants in clarifying goals, identifying indicators and effective measures on progress, and learning to use new information to make better decisions.

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