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Superfund

Technical Assistance Services for Communities (TASC) Program

Overview

The national Technical Assistance Services for Communities (TASC) program provides independent assistance through an EPA contract to help communities better understand the science, regulations and policies of environmental issues and EPA actions. Under the TASC contract, a contractor provides scientists, engineers and other professionals to review and explain information to communities. The services are determined on a project-specific basis and provided at no cost to communities. This assistance supports community efforts to get more involved and work productively with EPA to address environmental issues.

TASC services can include information assistance and expertise, community education, information assistance needs evaluation and plan development, and assistance to help community members work together to participate effectively in environmental decision-making.

The TASC program benefits communities by explaining technical findings and answering community questions, helping them understand complex environmental issues, and supporting their active roles in protecting healthy communities and advancing environmental protection. The TASC program can also provide opportunities for environmental education, bring diverse groups together and help them get more involved, and offer training and support environmental employment opportunities through the Superfund Job Training Initiative.

"I would want other communities interested in technical assistance to know that they should not be discouraged by a lack of knowledge or information in pursuing their goals. TASC has the expertise and skills needed to guide communities in the direction of their choice."
—Community representative for the Red Panther Chemical Company TASC project

The materials below provide additional information on TASC services:

Frequent Questions


Is TASC a grant?

No. TASC services are not a grant. There are no funds awarded to the recipients of the assistance services. TASC provides services only. These services are delivered under a contract which is funded, administered and managed by EPA.


How do communities contact the TASC program and request TASC services?

Please visit the Contact Us tab, locate your state and EPA Region, and contact the appropriate EPA Regional TASC Coordinator. After initial contact, communities submit a request (via email or letter) for TASC services. EPA evaluates all requests for TASC services.

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How will my community know which TASC services to request?

TASC Technical Assistance Specialists work with communities to evaluate their educational and technical assistance needs and identify the services that will best address those needs. If your community already has specific technical assistance services in mind, please share that information with your EPA Regional TASC Coordinator.

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In which parts of the country are TASC services offered?

TASC is a national EPA program. Services are provided across EPA’s 10 Regions, which include all 50 states, tribal nations, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

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How much will TASC assistance cost?

TASC services are provided at no cost to communities. However, TASC resources are limited, and EPA must consider each community request alongside requests from other communities across the country.

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Our community would like to request technical assistance from EPA for a brownfields site rather than a Superfund site. Can the TASC program help us?

No. EPA’s Technical Assistance Services for Brownfields (TAB) Communities Program helps guide communities through the cleanup and redevelopment process at brownfields.

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Our community has heard about other technical assistance resources, such as TAGs and TAPs. What are they, and how are they different from TASC?

The TASC program is similar to TAGs and TAPs in providing opportunities for communities to receive independent technical assistance.

TAGs (Technical Assistance Grants) are EPA-funded grants available to qualified community groups. Community groups are awarded funds to be used to contract with independent technical advisors to help community members understand technical information related to Superfund cleanups.

TAPs (Technical Assistance Plans) are potentially responsible party (PRP)-funded arrangements that EPA sometimes negotiates in settlements. TAPs give community groups an opportunity to receive the services of an independent technical advisor. TAP services are funded by PRPs under EPA oversight.

TASC provides a much wider range of assistance than TAGs or TAPs. TAGs and TAPs are limited to specific types of sites. TAGs are only available at Superfund sites and TAPs are only available at sites where the settlement arrangement includes a TAP provision. TASC services may be used for many types of sites and environmental issues across all EPA media programs. In addition, the range of assistance allowable under TASC is broader than it is for TAGs or TAPs. For example, only TASC can provide community trainings, which is not allowable under a TAG.

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Can TASC services be provided to a community that has a TAG or TAP?

Maybe. EPA may provide TASC services to a community group that is a TAG or TAP recipient. However, TASC services only provide assistance that is not available or allowable under the TAG or TAP. Additionally, EPA will likely prioritize TASC resources for communities not eligible for a TAG or without potential access to a TAP.

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Who are the technical advisors and experts that provide TASC technical assistance?

The technical advisors and experts available through TASC are environmental engineers, scientists, public health specialists and community outreach professionals from private companies and universities.

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How is a TASC community technical advisor selected?

It is the responsibility of the TASC contractor to select an appropriate advisor. When choosing individuals to provide technical assistance, the TASC contractor consults with both EPA staff and community representatives to understand needs, concerns and requested areas of technical expertise. The TASC contractor then chooses from a pool of staff that includes in-house employees, a staff of subcontractors and individuals registered in the TASC contractor’s technical expertise database. In cases where appropriate expertise cannot be identified from these sources, the TASC contractor will conduct a search that includes universities, federal agencies and other consulting firms to identify the best possible providers.

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What happens if a community has questions or concerns regarding the technical assistance services provided by the TASC program?

Communities receiving TASC technical assistance services can contact EPA’s Regional TASC Coordinator and the project’s Technical Assistance Specialist to discuss project-related questions or concerns at any time. The TASC program’s top priority is to provide responsive, high-quality technical assistance services that meet each community’s needs. EPA will work with communities to rapidly and comprehensively address questions or concerns and ensure that program services are provided consistently and continuously.   

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Are there activities that are not permitted as part of TASC's technical assistance services?

Yes. TASC resources cannot be used for:

  • Administrative project tasks such as the creation and distribution of meeting minutes, website updates or advertising for community meetings. TASC resources also cannot be used for document printing or copying.
  • Activities that advocate for a particular constituency, position or outcome. The TASC program is focused on providing high-quality, independent and unbiased technical assistance services to communities.
  • Funding and maintaining websites.
  • Providing food, beverages and/or meals for meetings and events.
  • Funding travel for community members to participate in events such as meetings, training courses and presentations.
  • Providing speaker honorariums or gifts.
  • Providing donations to organizations involved in TASC-related activities.
  • Providing legal services.
  • Providing support related to political activities and lobbying.
  • Generating and/or collecting new environmental or health primary data, such as well drilling and testing, split sampling, health studies, surveillance, registries and/or public health interventions. 

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How can my community learn more about the Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI)?

Please visit the SuperJTI program's website.

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How does my community arrange for TASC support?

The community must make a request to the Regional TASC Coordinator or the EPA Superfund site team. EPA evaluates the community's request based on need and available resources. If EPA can support the project under the TASC program, technical assistance services can begin for the community soon after.

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Does my community have any financial or administrative responsibilities for managing a TASC project?

No. Unlike Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs), the community does not have to provide financial support or assume administrative responsibilities under TASC.

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TASC in Communities

On this page:


"TASC did an outstanding job working productively with a diverse group of stakeholders. TASC staff were responsive to their concerns and produced all deliverables in a professional and timely manner."—Community representative for the South Weymouth Naval Air Station TASC project

The TASC Program: By the Numbers

Since 2008, TASC has supported 200 projects in:

  • 10 EPA Regions.
  • 46 States and Territories.

These projects include:

  • 21 projects supporting tribal communities.
  • 68 projects supporting communities through the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ).
  • 7 projects supporting communities with concerns related to permitted facilities through the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) program.
  • 106 projects supporting Superfund communities.

Map of TASC Projects

Last Update: January 2018

Click the >> for the map legend and click on the dots and stars on the map for information about each project.

If you are having trouble viewing the map in your browser, click the 'View larger map' link below

Communities New to TASC (September 2017 - January 2018)

  • Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Site (Hoosick Falls, NY)
  • Former Toastmaster Superfund Site (Macon, MO)

Contact Us

If your community is interested in TASC services, please locate your state and EPA Region on the map below and contact the appropriate EPA Regional TASC Coordinator.

Map of the US, split into EPA regions

EPA Regional TASC Coordinators

Sarah White
EPA Region 1

(ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT)
(617) 918-1026
white.sarah@epa.gov

Wanda Ayala
EPA Region 2

(NY, NJ, PR, VI)
(212) 637-3676
ayala.wanda@epa.gov

Gina Soscia
EPA Region 3

(PA, DE, DC, MD, VA, WV)
(215) 814-5538
soscia.gina@epa.gov

L'Tonya Spencer
EPA Region 4

(KY, TN, NC, SC, MS, AL, GA, FL)
(404) 562-8463
spencer.latonya@epa.gov

Susan Pastor
EPA Region 5

(IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI)
(312) 353-1325
pastor.susan@epa.gov

Jason McKinney
EPA Region 6

(NM, TX, OK, AR, LA)
(214) 665-8132
mckinney.jason@epa.gov

Pamela Houston
EPA Region 7

(NE, KS, IA, MO)
(913) 551-7699
houston.pamela@epa.gov

Sisay Ashenafi
EPA Region 8

(MT, ND, WY, SD, UT, CO)
(303) 312-6138
ashenafi.sisay@epa.gov

Viola Cooper
EPA Region 9

(CA, NV, AZ, HI, and Pacific Territories)
(415) 972-3243
cooper.viola@epa.gov

Debra Sherbina
EPA Region 10

(WA, OR, ID, AK)
(206) 553-0247
sherbina.debra@epa.gov

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TASC, SuperJTI and EJ Project Coordinators

Freya Margand
TASC National Program Manager

(703) 603-8889
margand.freya@epa.gov

Tina Conley
TASC National Program Manager

(703) 603-0696
conley.tina@epa.gov

Melissa Friedland
Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI) Program Manager, EPA Regions 1-5

(703) 603-8864
friedland.melissa@epa.gov

Viola Cooper
Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI) Program Manager, EPA Regions 6-10

(415) 972-3243
cooper.viola@epa.gov

Sheila Lewis
Environmental Justice (EJ) TASC Manager

(202) 564-0152
lewis.sheila@epa.gov

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