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EPA Announces Appointment of Small Community Leaders to National Advisory Committee

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WASHINGTON  — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the appointment of 10 new members to the Small Community Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS). The 17-member subcommittee helps EPA develop robust partnerships with small communities to address environmental and public health issues.

“EPA is committed to helping small and rural communities improve environmental and public health protections and make much-needed repairs to local infrastructure,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “I look forward to working with SCAS to enhance EPA’s efforts to assist small communities.”

“There is an ever-present gap in resources needed for infrastructure to maintain the environment and public health of small, rural and disadvantaged communities,” said SCAS Chair and Salmon, Idaho Planning Commissioner Dr. Robert Cope. “The SCAS brings a powerful voice of these communities to Washington, D.C., to address these environmental and public health challenges for the benefit of all communities.”

Small communities, which are communities with less than 10,000 people, face unique issues such as critical water and infrastructure needs and limited administrative capacity to address environmental and public health challenges. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 60 million people, or one-fifth of the U.S. population, live in small or rural communities, but occupy 97 percent of the land area. In the spirit of cooperative federalism, EPA is committed to achieving cost reductions and distributing resources to improve public health and the environment in these small and rural communities.

The panel was selected based on their demonstrated leadership experience, proven record of service to their communities, and involvement in effective environmental protection services and programs at the community, state, and federal level.

Newly appointed SCAS members include:

•    Mr. Brian Fulton, County Administrator, Jackson County; Pascagoula, Mississippi and Vice-Chair of SCAS
•    Mayor José Carlos Aponte Dalmau, Carolina, Puerto Rico
•    Commissioner Libby Szabo, Jefferson County; Golden, Colorado    
•    Trustee Tom Willsey; Ross Township, Ohio
•    Mr. Brian Holter, Brownfield Coordinator, Klawock Tribe; Klawock, Alaska
•    Council Member Mervin Wright, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Nixon, Nevada
•    Commissioner Carvel Lewis, Chairman; Georgetown-Quitman Consolidated County Government; Georgetown, Georgia
•    Ms. Susan Lessard, Town Manager, Bucksport, Maine
•    Commissioner Dennis Scott, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury; Lake Charles, Louisiana
•    Mr. William Youngblood, Executive Director, McCandless Township Sewer Authority; McCandless, Pennsylvania

Current and returning members include:

•    Dr. Robert Cope, DVM, Planning Commission, Salmon, Idaho and Chair of SCAS
•    Mayor Bob Dixson; Greensburg, Kansas
•    Chairman Shawn Yanity, Stillaguamish Tribe, Arlington, Washington
•    Secretary Jeff Witte, Secretary of Agriculture, State of New Mexico; Las Cruces, New Mexico
•    Supervisor Ryan Sundberg, Humboldt County; Eureka, California
•    Mr. Rodney Bartlett, Town Administrator, Peterborough, New Hampshire
•    City Councilor Andy Beerman; Park City, Utah

The Small Community Advisory Subcommittee was established by EPA in 1996 to advise the Administrator on environmental issues of concern to the residents of smaller communities. It is a subcommittee of the Local Government Advisory Committee, chartered in 1993 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, to provide independent policy advice to the EPA Administrator. The subcommittee intends to meet in early summer to begin their work.

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