Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Summary of Dialogue with Environmental Justice Community At the 2008 TRI National Training Conference
February 13, 2008
At the 2008 TRI National Training Conference, a second dialogue session was held with representatives of several organizations involved with environmental justice (EJ) issues.
Representatives from: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), WE-ACT for Environmental Justice (NY), United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE) (New York), New Jersey Environmental Justice Network, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) (Minnesota), Landloss (North Carolina), Harambee House (Georgia), and Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (Illinois).
EJ Participant 1:
- Need different “tracks” at the TRI conference for community users
- Integrate databases
- Didn’t know that TRI was “just for manufacturers.”
EPA Participant 1: Have you used our website?
- EJ Participant 2 – Yes.
- EJ Participant 3 – All of this (environmental information) is new to her organization.
- EJ Participant 4 – Used air monitoring in New Orleans through EPA and CDC
EPA Participant 1: Who would have credibility? Who would you trust?
- EJ Participant 3– Doesn’t understand what is regulated and what is voluntary
- EJ Participant 4- Not sure if EPA and other federal agencies have completed abandoned people in New Orleans. Are they still monitoring air samples?
- EPA Participant 1– Compliance doesn’t always mean it is necessarily safe. This is where TRI can help.
- EPA Participant 2 – Explained “thresholds, cap and trade, etc.” in order to meet compliance requirements.
- EPA Participant 1 – “Changing” corporate behavior is difficult
EJ Participant 5
- Agrees and supports comments on needing more tracks at the conference.
- Suggest follow up conference call and secure web sites for training of EJ communities.
EJ Participant 3
- Translate information and health impacts to communities.
- How does this information help us?
EPA Participant 2
- Mentioned that we could potentially add additional tracks to future conferences depending on diverse audience new grantee partners with and invites to conferences.
- Potential tracks could include financial sector, EJ concerns, and Public Health issues.
EJ Participant 1
- Suggests to participate and/or present at other EPA conferences.
- She also suggests conducting TRI workshops in regions with TRI and EJ coordinators.
- Integrate TRI data with other databases such as ECHO, OTIS, RCRA, TRI NATA, etc.
EPA Participant 1: In developing tools, who should we design it for? (i.e., leadership, who to train on technology, etc.)
- EJ Participant 2 – For Tribes – intermediary – tribal council and leaders.
- EJ Participant 6 – Don’t have staff dedicated to GIS technology
EJ Participant 6
- No trust in EPA – need to build that relationship
- Southwest Chicago is mainly a Hispanic community – currently a 5 year law suit against coal fired power plant
EJ Participant 4 - Need to transfer EJ knowledge to youth
EJ Participant 5- train librarians on TRI data so the library becomes the repository for environmental information
Next Steps: EJ participants to work with EPA to coordinate conference call to continue the dialogue.