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New Orleans Capacity Building Pilot Project

Pilot Update

Since the inaugural meeting, changes in scope and participation have occurred for the Near-port Community Capacity Building Pilot Project in New Orleans as noted below.

  • The Port of New Orleans withdrew participation in the pilot and is directing its efforts in completing other environmental projects and strategic planning activities.
  • The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) is no longer actively participating in the pilot due to competing resources demands associated with a grant award to expand its capacity to address health and environmental issues, along with associated equity considerations, for Gulf Coast community stakeholders.
  • The Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED) remains an active pilot participant and has identified community resilience as a priority focus for the pilot project. Technical assistance, including training workshops, is being provided by EPA to support CSED and implementation partners in conducting assessments of local conditions and development of community resilience strategies. 
  • Planning is underway for the evaluation of tools and methods for determining environmental health, including air quality impacts, for various transportation resilience measures.

Capacity Building Pilot Project Kickoff

Photo of kickoff meeting New Orleans near-port capacity building pilotNew Orleans Community Engagement MeetingThe initial meetings for the pilot were held on April 12 and 13, 2017, as EPA convened a series of meetings involving the Port of New Orleans and near-port community organizations. 

Through facilitated discussions with community leaders and port senior staff, both separately and jointly, participants characterized the concerns and challenges associated with goods movement. These stakeholders also identified goals for enhancing community/port relations and for improving local environmental conditions.
Community expertise was conveyed through participation by numerous organizations including:
  • Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development
  • Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
  • Concerned Citizens of Melia
  • Holy Cross Neighborhood Association
  • New Orleans East
  • 7th Ward Representative
EPA capacity building tools were utilized in conducting assessments during the site visit.