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Round 2-4b: Brownfields Community Outreach

Reform Description
This reform aims to involve communities in brownfields activities through a variety of initiatives, including assigning staff to specific cities, coordinating pilot activities, and promoting job development. By focusing on partnerships with other Federal, State, and local agencies, as well as with diverse stakeholders, EPA hopes to enhance public participation in local decision-making.

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Reform Status
check mark Implementation of this reform is complete.

Passage of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (P.L. 107-118) enacted the reform into law. Information about EPA's implementation of the Brownfields Program is available at www.epa.gov/brownfields.

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EPA has established a brownfields coordinator position in each Region to oversee brownfields pilots and initiate other brownfields activities. The Agency has also assigned seven staff members to cities through inter-governmental personnel assignments to help address brownfields redevelopment challenges at the State and local levels.

The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) has advised and informed EPA on environmental justice issues relating to Brownfields. The NEJAC issued a final report, "Environmental Justice, Urban Revitalization, and Brownfields: The Search for Authentic Signs of Hope" (see Documents below), which analyzed earlier public dialogues, on revitalization and brownfields. Community-based recommendations from the report are shaping the Brownfields Initiative, from pilot applications to determining future site redevelopment.

EPA has promoted and fostered job development and training through partnerships with brownfields pilot communities and community colleges. EPA is working with HMTRI, exit EPA which has hosted a series of workshops to help community colleges in brownfields pilot communities develop environmental job training programs. To date, HMTRI has worked with over 60 community colleges.

As a result of this reform:

  • EPA funded 46 job training pilots; $8.7 million enabled 879 participants to complete training; 586 participants obtained employment;

  • Announcement of the Department of Transportation policy to recognize the importance of revitalizing brownfields as part of transportation projects; and

  • HMTRI held a workshop to assist community colleges in developing environmental job training programs.

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Success Stories
Rio Hondo College, Whittier, CA

EPA has worked extensively with HMTRI exit EPA to help community colleges in brownfields pilot communities develop environmental job training programs. At Rio Hondo College exit EPA in Whittier, California, a cooperative agreement with EPA allowed the college to establish the Rio Hondo Environmental Education and Training Center in 1995. The Center provides comprehensive technician-level training on Superfund-related subjects, issues, and methodologies, and aids local residents with job placement following graduation. The college serves a predominantly Hispanic community and sits adjacent to a Los Angeles County landfill. [FY97 Success]

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Title: Fact Sheet: Brownfields and Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities
Date: April 1997
Document #: EPA 500-F-97-091
Synopsis: This fact sheet summarizes the Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Community (EZ/EC) program. The document explains federal coordination on the program, and details EPA's involvement in specific EZs.

Title: Fact Sheet: Brownfields -- Workforce Development
Date: September 1997
Document #: EPA 500-F-97-158
Synopsis: This fact sheet summarizes EPA's workforce development and job training partnerships. The document also provides information on job development, education, and training initiatives.

Title: Environmental Justice, Urban Revitalization, and Brownfields: The Search For Authentic Signs of Hope (A Report on the "Public Dialogues on Urban Revitalization and Brownfields: Envisioning Healthy and Sustainable Communities")
Date: December 1996
Document #: EPA 500-R-96-002
Synopsis: The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council issued this report, which analyzes the findings from the public dialogues held in June and July of 1995 on revitalization and brownfields. The report makes community-based recommendations, which are helping shape the future course of the Brownfields Initiative.

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