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Strengthening Environmental Justice Research and Decision Making: A Symposium on the Science of Disproportionate Environmental Health Impacts (Disproportionate Impacts Symposium)

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Planning Committee Co-Chairs:
  • Heather Case, Office of Environmental Justice, EPA
  • Onyemaechi Nweke, Office of Environmental Justice, EPA
  • Devon Payne-Sturges, Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental Research, EPA
Contributing Experts:
  • Gilbert C. Gee, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Amy Kyle, University of California, Berkeley
  • Russ Lopez, Boston University
  • Rachel Morello-Frosch, University of California, Berkeley
  • Nsedu Obot-Witherspoon, Children's Environmental Health Network
  • Robin Saha, University of Montana
  • Donele Wilkins, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice
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Strengthening Environmental Justice Research and Decision Making: A Symposium on the Science of Disproportionate Environmental Health Impacts

On March 17-19, 2010, EPA held a symposium on environmental justice research and decision making called: Strengthening Environmental Justice Research and Decision Making: A Symposium on the Science of Disproportionate Environmental Health Impacts. The purpose of the symposium was to describe the current state-of-the-science on factors associated with environmental health disparities; explore a variety of frameworks, analytical tools, and methods for assessing the environmental health impacts of environmental programs, policies, and activities on disadvantaged populations and identify short and long-term preliminary goals that could serve as a blueprint for an action agenda, including research and data needs.

EPA published a white paper in 2007 (PDF) (12 pp, 67 K) that describes factors to consider to properly include environmental justice scenarios in a regulatory decision. These factors, listed below, are prevalent among minority and low-income populations and are associated with environmental health impacts and disparities in environmental health impacts:

  • Proximity to risks, threats or hazards to health and the environment
  • Susceptibilities and vulnerabilities
  • Pathways of exposure to unique environmental pollutants 
  • Multiple and cumulative pollutant exposures/health impacts that may create disadvantages to specific individuals and groups
  • Community capacity to participate in the decision-making process of the EPA
  • Physical infrastructure
  • Chronic exposure to stress and the implication for health outcomes related to exposure to environmental hazards

Sponsors

EPA's NCEE EPA EPA's NCER Office of Environmental Justice

Co-Sponsors

APHA Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Centers  for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Minority Health NIEHS
NCMHD John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future NIOSH Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry The Kresge Foundation

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