Superfund Task Force Recommendations and Accomplishments: Goal 5
Engaging Partners and Stakeholders
The Task Force employed one strategy to engage partners and stakeholders:
- Engage key stakeholders
To learn how EPA will integrate the work completed under the Task Force into the Superfund Program, see:
On this page:
- Recommendation 40: Develop a Robust Communications Strategy to Identify and Target Key Stakeholders
- Recommendation 41: For Federal Facility Sites, Collaborate with Other Federal Agencies (OFAs) to Solicit Their Views on How EPA Can Better Engage Federal Agencies
- Recommendation 42: Use a Federal Advisory Committee to Work with a Broad Array of Stakeholders to Identify Barriers and Opportunities Related to Cleanup and Reuse of Superfund Sites
- Developed Risk Communication Improvement Plan
EPA refined the goal of Recommendation 40 to focus on improving risk communication with communities and stakeholders at Superfund sites, particularly at locations where waste has been left in place and the site requires long-term operation and maintenance and institutional controls (Long-Term Stewardship). EPA has initially focused risk communication evaluations at long-term stewardship sites but expects that the evaluation findings and lessons learned will be directly applicable to all phases of the Superfund cleanup process. By promoting clear and effective risk communications throughout the remedial process, EPA can help communities develop a shared vision for reuse of the site and potentially speed up the cleanup process.
Getting Risk Communication Right: Helping Communities Plan at Superfund Sites (PDF) (15 pp, 2.7 MB)
Recommendation 41: For Federal Facility Sites, Collaborate with Other Federal Agencies (OFAs) to Solicit Their Views on How EPA Can Better Engage Federal Agencies
- Enhanced Engagement with Other Federal Agencies
To examine what was working well, EPA compiled a baseline list of the ways it engages with other federal agencies and states at both the headquarters and regional levels. EPA incorporated feedback on this effort and shared the feedback with states and other federal agencies. EPA prepared and piloted a headquarters-to-headquarters engagement plan with the Department of Defense (DOD) and requested ideas to further refine the plan. EPA has regularly-scheduled meetings with other federal agencies and states and has improved these meetings in terms of focus, purpose and construction through this recommendation. For example, EPA used executive-level meetings with DOD to target and resolve critical programmatic issues and site-specific issues at sites like Picatinny Army Arsenal Superfund Site in New Jersey and Hill Air Force Base Superfund Site in Utah.
Recommendation 42: Use a Federal Advisory Committee to Work with a Broad Array of Stakeholders to Identify Barriers and Opportunities Related to Cleanup and Reuse of Superfund Sites
- National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Delivered Draft Recommendations
The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) was selected to deliver recommendations in response to Recommendation 42. EPA and NEJAC members developed the charge for Recommendation 42 in two phases: (1) establish the NEJAC Superfund working group and (2) propose guiding principles and recommendations for the final Task Force report. The NEJAC Superfund working group, comprised of a diverse array of contamination, remediation, and revitalization experts from across the country, proposed guiding principles and recommendations. Guiding principles include: proposed working group recommendations should link to potential actions; the Superfund Program should recognize that impacted communities often have unique concerns; development of trust, adaptation of tools, equitability of engagement and assistance, and clear communication about the Superfund process should all be considered when EPA is working with impacted communities; community end-use goals should be considered from the earliest stages of the process; and Superfund should enable impacted communities to plan for site reuse and community revitalization during the site remediation process.
From the proposed guiding principles, the working group developed a series of draft recommendations. Some examples include: expand Superfund’s role beyond cleanup to community asset creation; increase grant resources for reuse planning assistance and community engagement; and expand use of health impact assessments as a planning tool.
The working group recognized the importance of a longer deliberative process to be completed during the second phase of its work and will continue to develop recommendations in accordance with EPA's charge.