Friday, December 28, 2007

NIEHS Seeks Community Engagement Partnerships

Jan 19 Deadline. As a follow-up to a Congressional hearing in September 2007, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is planningto develop a unified program referred to as "Partnerships forEnvironmental Public Health" (PEPH). The intent of the program is to support a variety of research, outreach and education activities to prevent, reduce, or eliminate environmental exposures that may lead to adverse health outcomes in communities, with the active engagement ofthose communities in all stages of the work.

NIEHS currently envisions that this program would build upon the strengths of past and current research programs, as well as trans-NIH program announcements in this area, and:

* support hypothesis-driven research that engages community partners;
* support research to improve the theories and methods for working withcommunities to address environmental health concerns; and
* develop, implement and disseminate educational and outreach materials for usein communities.

To establish a vision for the PEPH Program in an appropriate and responsive manner, the NIEHS is seeking input from the lay public, environmental health researchers, healthcare professionals, educators, policy makers and others with a vested interest in the effects ofenvironmental exposures on public health. The NIEHS released a Request for Information (RFI) - posted online at -with six open-ended questions that will help the institute advance itscommitment to environmental public health.
Please take a few moments to complete the questions in the RFI. You can send your responses to Mr. Liam O'Fallon ( byJanuary 19, 2008. The following are easy ways to submit your responses:

1. Download interactive Adobe Acrobat form that can be completed and submitted electronically;
2. Copy and paste the questions from the RFI into the body of an e-mail message and send your responses to ; or
3. Mail or fax your responses in a letter to the attention of Mr. O'Fallon (address provided in the RFI).

If you have questions about this Request for Information (RFI), please contact Mr. Liam O'Fallon Please reference the RFI in your subject line.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE A New Peer-Reviewed Quarterly Journal will be launched in the Spring of 2008. Call for Papers on: human health and the environment, occupational health, science and technology, land use, public policy, urban planning, legal history as it pertains to environmental justice, sociology and anthropology of environmental health disparities.

Environmental Justice will focus on the legal challenges threatening and adversely affecting our health and well being, especially minority and low-income populations. These challenges will continue to grow as more attention and social responsibility is directed toward redressing inequitable environmental practices and hazards. Legal challenges and lawsuits to ensure prevention of harmful policies, projects, and developments are within its purview, as are issues of compliance and enforcement, activism, and corrective actions.

Environmental Justice is a law journal but it extends to industry and public policy. Legal challenges abound, in both the public and private sectors. Studies that demonstrate the adverse health affects on populations who are most subject to health and environmental hazards are pertinent, as well as the complicated issues inherent in remediation, funding, relocation of facilities that pose hazardous risk to health, and selection for new locations. Questions of legalities in relation tothese concerns will be anticipated and discussed.

Environmental Justice will be published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR MANUSCRIPTS TO THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF FOR CONSIDERATION FOR THE INAUGURAL ISSUE NO LATER THAN JANUARY 10, 2008. There will be a web-based manuscript submission system up and running by January 1 (seewebsite above ) or you can submit your papers directly to the Editor-in-Chief at:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Deadline Extended: Nominations must bepostmarked by February 11, 2008.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is requesting nominations for the Achievement in Environmental Justice Awards. Nominations must be postmarked by January 11, 2008. National awards for achievements in environmental justice will be given to organizations in 5 categories: 1) academic institutions, 2) community-based organizations, 3) non-governmental and environmental organizations, 4) State and local government organizations, and 5) Tribal government and indigenous organizations. Organizations should be nominated for their achievement in addressing environmental justice issues or achieving the goals of environmental justice in a manner that results in positive impacts to a community.

The award competition will be open to all organizations within theUnited States. The nominated entity must have achieved a significant milestone or accomplishment within the past five years (2002-2007). Nominated entities should address six selection criteria which reflect the goals of addressing environmental justice issues in a way thatpositively affects the community. The criteria are: (1) innovation;(2) community responsibility; (3) community, equity, and publicinvolvement; (4) partnerships and collaboration; (5) integration; and(6) demonstrated results, effectiveness, and sustainability. UPDATE: The awards will be presented by the EPA Administrator during a special public, media-covered event in June 2008. EPA will pay for the travel and lodging expenses of the representative who will attend the EJ Achievement Awards ceremony and receive the award on behalf of thewinning organizations.Award winners will receive national recognition for their significant EJ achievements.

EPA will publish a feature article in the Environmental Justice Quarterly newsletter focusing on the selected award recipients. Award winners will also be featured on the Office of Environmental Justice's Web site. National recognition may also open doors for the award winners to network and partner with other organizations across the U.S. that share a similar commitment to EJ excellence. For more information, visit: EJ Achievement Flyer or contact Lisa Hammond at (202) 564-0736 or at .

Friday, November 16, 2007

Call For Presentations: EJ in America 2008 Conference

The second annual State of Environmental Justice in America 2008 conference planners are inviting individuals to submit a short abstract of no more than 150 words that describes a panel or individual presentation related to the current state of environmental justice associated with the topics listed below. (More)

Topic areas:
1) Success stories in assuring justice for communities
2) Land Use planning/sustainable community planning and development/smart growth
3) Just and sustainable energy policy/alternative energy production
4) Climate change/climate justice
5) Community participation in environmental decision making
6) Environmental justice in Indian Country
7) Building community capacity
8) Distribution of community benefits
9) Environmental justice and health disparities/access to public health benefits
10) Provision of infrastructure and resources in rural America
11) Facility siting and environmental justice
12) Environmental education
13) Conservation cooperation
14) Innovations in environmental justice legislation, regulation and litigation/environmental justice and legal case studies
15) Environmental justice considerations in emergency preparedness and homeland protection
16) Integration of environmental justice into Federal, state and local agencies policies and programs
17) Other topics of the submitter's choice, so long as they relate to environmental justice

The abstract should include the submitter's name and full contact information as well as reference the topic and number under which it is being submitted.

Submissions: Abstracts should be sent to:

Relevant Dates:

Abstract Due: December 15, 2007
Notice of Acceptance Received: January 21-February 1, 2008
Response to Notice of Acceptance Due By: February 15, 2008
Presenters Contacted by Panel Managers: February 18-29, 2008
Presentations Due No Later Than*: March 7, 2008
Conference Dates: March 26-29, 2008
Conference Location: Washington, DC area

[*Note: If you are submitting a paper in addition to your presentation, papers are due at this time. Please be advised that all papers will be published as written.]

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

NY Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance Issues EJ Report

The New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (NYAREA) has issued an environmental justice report entitled, "Environmental Justice: A Growing Movement." In New York State the problem of respiratory illnesses is particularly acute. An earlier 2000 Abt Associates study estimated that in New York State in 2007 (with improvements in air quality taken into account from 2000), airborne particulate matter would be the cause of 1,200 premature deaths, 744 cases of chronic bronchitis, 481 hospital admissions, 273 asthma related emergency room visits, 2,180 cases of acute bronchitis, 23,300 asthma attacks, and more than 200,000 work loss days.

One of the major Environmental Justice issues in New York City is the connection between asthma and power plant emissions and automobile exhaust. In New York, the Council of the City of New York reported in May 2003 that “a recent study found that one in every four children in the South Bronx and Central Harlem was afflicted with asthma, one of the highest rates in the country.“ Laurent Lawrence, upper left, is coauthor of the report with Norris McDonald, President, African American Environmentalist Association.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

NAACP Addresses Environmental Justice Issues

"The Crisis" magazine's July/August issue covers environmental justice. This special issue is entitled: "The Fight For Environmental Justice," and states that "In Spite of environmental protective laws, people of color bear the health burden of toxic soil, polluted water and air that is foul and contaminated.

On another front, Martin Luther King III presented testimony today before Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming to discuss how the impacts of global warming and oil dependence hit hardest on America and the world's most vulnerable communities. (More)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Call for Papers on "EJ: Making It A Reality"

The Lewis & Clark Law School Environmental Law Review is currently accepting submissions to be published in their upcoming issue "Environmental Justice: Making it a Reality," which will be dedicated entirely to articles exploring Environmental Justice topics. They encourage submissions that analyze or explore issues related to environmental justice.

Manuscripts must be received by December 21st to be considered for publication. If selected, your manuscript will be published in Volume 38, Issue 2 of Environmental Law, in May 2008. All submissions should be sent to Contact Editor in Chief Morgan Wyenn with any questions.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

House Environmental Justice Bill Hearing

The Subcommittee on Environmental and Hazardous Materials is holding a hearing on Thursday, Oct 4, 2007 (10 am Rm 2322 Rayburn House Ofc Bldg) to discuss H.R. 1103, the Environmental Justice Act of 2007 and H.R. 1055, the Toxic Right-To-Know Act.

The discussion will cover the "Environmental Justice and the Toxics Release Inventory Reporting Program." Congressman Al Wynn (D-MD), right, is Chairman of the committee.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Congressional Black Caucus EJ & Energy Forums 2007

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is hosting its 37th Annual Legislative Conference at the Washington Convention Center.

Rep. James E. Clyburn, left, wil host the CBC Environmental Justice Forum, which will address, "Environmental Justice: Federal Efforts to Strengthen Environmental Justice Through Enforcement of Civil Rights," Friday, Sept 28, 2007, 10:30-12 noon, Room 143-B.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, right, will host the CBC Energy Forum, which will address, "High Gasoline Prices & High Utility Costs: Building Bridges Between the African American Community and America's Energy Industry," Friday, Sept 28, 2007, 9-12 noon, Room 202-A. (All Friday Forums)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

White House Interns Needed

The application deadline for the Spring 2008 White House Internship is September 25, 2007. They are looking for a "well-qualified diverse group of applicants".

For more information and an application please visit their website at:

Applications should be submitted to on or before September 25, 2007 for the Spring 2008 Internship.


The U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have announced a 45-day public comment period for the second draft of a report on the effects of climate change. USDA is the lead agency preparing the report: "Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP) 4.3: The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity." This report will add to the information base about the effects of climate change. It addresses the effects of climate change on agriculture, land resources, water resources and biodiversity for the next 25 to 50 years.

The draft report has more than 1,000 references and 80 findings on the effects of climate change on agriculture in the United States. The report had 37 authors and has had expert peer review by 14 scientists. CCSP's strategic plan calls for the production of 21 Synthesis and Assessment Products that respond to high priority research, observation, and decision-support needs. The full draft report has been posted on the CCSP Web site at , along with instructions for submitting comments, which are due by Oct. 26, 2007. Notice the start of the comment period will be published in the Sept. 11, 2007, Federal Register.

Release No. 0242.07 Contact: William Hohenstein (202) 720-6698

Monday, September 10, 2007

West Harlem Environmental Action Genetics Conference

Where: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard Boulevard at 135th Street, New York City

When: Monday, September 24, 2007

Why: This symposium begins a series of conversations for communities of color to assess the implications of the growing role that genetic information plays in our society.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Virginia Tech Ethanol Project Model For HBCUs?

Virginia Tech's agricultural research center near Fredericksbug is examining the feasibility of using switchgrass as a substitute or supplement to corn-produced ethanol. Unfortunately the technology for producing cellulosic ethanol has not been perfected. Converting the sugars from switchrass and other cellulose to alcohol is a harder process than using corn or sugarcane. Switchgrass is not eaten so it will not drive up the price of food the way corn-based ethanol appears to be doing. (Wash Post)



Education is a fundamental part of achieving the American dream, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) help ensure that every student has the opportunity to pursue a quality education. During Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, we underscore our commitment to these distinguished institutions in their efforts to provide more Americans with the tools to realize their dreams.

The founding of many of our Historically Black Colleges and Universities over a century ago expanded the American education system and extended the opportunity of a higher education to some who had been wrongly denied access. Today, HBCUs throughout our Nation continue to be centers of quality education, advancing opportunity and inspiring individuals to meet the challenges of our time as responsible leaders.

My Administration has increased Federal support for HBCUs and remains committed to strengthening these colleges and universities. The HBCU Capital Financing Program has provided access to funds for infrastructure repairs, educational equipment, and construction of new facilities. The President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities works to help HBCUs develop new partnerships with the private sector and benefit from Federal programs to strengthen and advance faculty development and cooperative research.

We will continue to provide our strong support to HBCUs, so that every citizen can enjoy a future of hope and opportunity, and we salute these great institutions as they
build on a foundation of continued success for every student.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 9 through September 15, 2007, as National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week. I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities in respect and appreciation for the contributions these valuable institutions and their graduates have made to our country.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.


Monday, September 3, 2007

AAEA President Quoted in New York Times Magazine

AAEA President Norris McDonald is quoted on environmental justice in The New York Times Magazine (9-2-07) in an article entitled, "Not in Whose Backyard?"The article is written by Amanda Griscom Little, contributor to Outside magazine and She is writing a book about energy in the United States.

The African American Environmentalist Association is promoting the passage of environmental justice legislation.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Message From Randy Gee - Cherokee Nation

Today is my last day at Cherokee Nation. Next month I will be starting an assignment at EPA Region 6. I want to say thank you to those I have worked with in the past. I will be at the Office of Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs; I hope our paths will cross again.

Randy Gee
Cherokee Nation Environmental Programs
Phone (918) 453-5088 or (800) 259-5376, ext 5088
Fax (918) 458-5499
Cell Phone (918) 822-2788

Thursday, August 30, 2007

EJ Means Economic Development: Cellulosic Biofuels

The Department of Energy will disburse $33.8 Million to support commercial production of cellulosic biofuels, specifically viable enzymes - a key step to enabling bio-based production of clean, renewable biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol. As part of the President's Twenty in Ten Plan, DOE is pursuing a long-term strategy to support increased availability and cost-effective use of renewable and alternative fuels. Twenty in Ten seeks to displace 20 percent of U.S. gasoline usage by 2017 through diversification of clean energy sources and increased vehicle efficiency.

With a minimum 50 percent industry cost-share, this funding will total nearly $68 million to further enzyme commercialization efforts. By harnessing the power of enzymes, which are responsible for many of the biochemical processes in nature, biorefineries can more efficiently use cellulosic (non-food) feedstocks for biofuels production. This funding aims to further reduce costs of enzyme system preparations in process-relevant conditions. Since 2000, DOE enzyme development advancements have yielded thirty-fold cost reductions mainly on enzyme production.

This biofuels effort focuses specifically on systems to hydrolyze and saccharify cellulosic biomass feedstocks. Saccharification enables the biorefining process by breaking down pretreated cellulosic material into more simple sugars, allowing them to be further processed through fermentation and ultimately turned into biofuels such as ethanol. Enzymes developed under this program must prove durable and effective in process-relevant conditions.

Letters of intent are due September 10, 2007, and completed applications are due October 30, 2007. View the complete FOA. Projects are expected to begin in Fiscal Year 2008 and continue through Fiscal Year 2011. Funding is subject to Congressional appropriations.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Federal Science & Engineering Spending

Top 20 Universities, Fiscal 2005 University Total

1. Johns Hopkins University $1,233,900,000
2. University of Washington $663,300,000
3. University of Pennsylvania $558,200,000
4. University of California at Los Angeles $525,500,000
5. University of Michigan $513,100,000
6. Stanford University $485,600,000
7. University of Wisconsin at Madison $476,900,000
8. University of California at San Francisco $473,500,000
9. Duke University $459,200,000
10. Columbia University $447,200,000
11. Harvard University $441,300,000
12. University of California at San Diego $428,300,000
13. Washington University in St. Louis $428,100,000
14. University of Pittsburgh $427,100,000
15. Yale University $384,400,000
16. University of Colorado $367,600,000
17. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $363,100,000
18. University of Minnesota $362,100,000
19. Cornell University $360,500,000
20. Massachusetts Institute of Technology $359,800,000

Top Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Fiscal 2005, Institution Total

1. Hampton University $44,072,000
2. Howard University $32,200,000
3. Meharry Medical College $30,701,000
4. Morehouse School of Medicine $28,724,000
5. Florida A&M University $23,229,000
6. Jackson State University $22,140,000
7. North Carolina A&T University $21,363,000
8. Tuskegee University $20,502,000
9. Tennessee State University $16,865,000
10. Morgan State University $12,838,000


Monday, August 6, 2007

Afro American Newspaper Covered Senate EJ Hearing

The only newspaper that covered the Senate hearing on environmental justice was The Washington Afro American. The Washington Post rarely to never covers environmental justice issues, unless a black reporter steps forward to write an article. The environmental reporters for The Post avoid writing about environmental justice like it is the plague. But one would think The Post would cover an environmental justice hearing sponsored by Senator Hillary Clinton. Still no coverage.

Although The Washington Times covers issues in black Washington better than The Washington Post, there wasn't a story about the hearing in that newspaper either. Nothing in the New York Times, USA Today or any of the other mainstream print outlets. (The Afro American Newspapers, "Environmental Racism Takes Senate Stage")

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Senator James Inhofe on Environmental Justice

Statement of James M. Inhofe
Hearing: Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health hearing entitled, “Oversight of the EPA’s Environmental Justice Programs."
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"EPA’s continued efforts to protect vulnerable communities from intentional discrimination are commendable. But I fear for every success story of where an EPA justice grant made it possible for a community to educate its residents and improve public health, there is an example of where the term environmental racism was used as a rhetorical tool to mobilize activists, cast blame, and generate unfounded pressure on targeted institutions. I look forward to hearing from the Administration on its progress in implementing its Environmental Justice program, and ideas for making the program more uniform and predictable in its application."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

EJ Hearing Includes State Representatives

Recent reports from the Government Accountability Office and the Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency have raised serious concerns about EPA's current commitment to environmental justice. The Clinton Administration issued an Executive Order in 1994 requiring the Federal Government to take action to address the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on minority and low-income populations, with the EPA in the lead.

The Toxic Waste and Race at Twenty report released by the United Church of Christ earlier this year, states taht out of the nine million Americans who live in communities with one or more hazardous waste facility, more than five million of them are people of color. In addition, a 2005 Associated Press analysis of EPA data noted that African Americans are 79 percent more likely than white populations to reside in neighborhoods where air pollution levels posed health risks. Latino children are twice as likely as non-Hispanic white children to have unsafe levels of lead in their blood. (Clinton Press Release)

Pictured at left: South Carolina State Senator Harold Mitchell and Sheila Dillard, of the U.S. Department of Energy. Pictured at right: Louisiana representatives at hearing.

Melinda Downing and Senator Clinton Share a Moment

Our good friend and colleague Melinda Downing of the U.S. Department of Energy attended the Senate hearing entitled, "Oversight of the EPA's Environmental Justice Programs," and chatted with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The hearing was held by the Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health, which is chaired by Senator Hillary Clinton. Ms. Downing is pictured at left with the senator at the hearing.

Senator Hillary Clinton Holds Environmental Justice Hearing

Senator Clinton is holding a hearing entitled, "Oversight of the EPA's Environmental Justice Programs." Senator Clinton is Chair of the Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health.

EPA, academicians and activists presented testimony. There will also be some coverage of an environmental justice bill introduced by Congressman Hilda Solis. The African American Environmentalist Association is shopping a bill with teeth. The Solis bill basically codifies Bill Clinton's Executive Order 12898.

Friday, July 13, 2007

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Promotes Environmental Justice

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is in the early stages of supporting environmental justice by promoting alternative energy research and development at historically black colleges and universities. The Chamber is also examining strategies for minority entrepreneurs to participate in the commercialization of alternative technologies. At a recent luncheon cosponsored by the Chamber and the National Small Town Alliance (NTSA) participants discussed how to prepare minority students for gainful careers in the alternative energy production field. A variety of energy sectors are being discussed, including ethanol and other biofuels, wind, solar, nuclear (new designs), fuel cells, hydrogen, clean coal, sequestration and ocean generation, among others.

The NTSA is assembling a team of organizations, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Instututions (MSIs), industry executives and federal officials to create an HBCU/MSI Alternative Energy Production Consortium (AEPC). The Consortium will concentrate on expanding research and development activities at HBCU/MSIs and commercialization opportunities for minority entrepreneurs.

This 21st Century brand of environmental justice seeks to reduce our dependence on imported oil, assist in the mitigation of negative atmospheric impacts, provide alternatives to reduce disproportionate pollution impacts on vulnerable communities, provide educational opportunities to students interested in alternative energy technologies and encourage more minority participation in the alternative energy sector. Phase one planning was accomplished at the June 28th luncheon. A larger meeting in the fall will address implementation of the Phase I recommenations. Photo: June 28 Meeting at the U.S. Chamer of Commerce

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Alternative Energy Luncheon Plans Fall Conference

The National Small Town Alliance (NSTA) recently cohosted a Roundtable Panel Discussion on Alternative Energy with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon is the first step in a process to increase diversity in the alternative energy production field. The luncheon is also the first step in creating an Alternative Energy Production Consortium that will concentrate on expanding research and development and commercialization opportunities for minority entrepreneurs.

The Alternative Energy Production Consortium will be accomplished in two phases. Phase I was the June 28 luncheon to examine interests, explore possibilities, assign responsibilities and lay the foundation for the overall process. Phase II is a larger gathering in the fall to implement the Phase I recommendations.

NSTA President John Rosenthall, left in upper left photo, welcomed attendees and Bill Kovacs , right in upper left photo, explained the purpose of the meeting. Mr. Kovacs is the Vice President, Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Attendees included representatives from the Departments of Energy and Agriculture, universities, Council on Environmental Quality, EPA and the African American Environmentalist Association.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

3rd Nat'l Conf on Environmental Science & Tech

Third National Conference on Environmental Science and Technology
September 12-14, 2007, Alumni Foundation Events Center
North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina

Purpose: To provide a forum for USDOE, USEPA, NSF, NOAA, other Federal Agencies, Industrial Technology Users and Colleges/Universities to address pollution prevention problems, solutions and research needs. Important Note: Full peer reviewed paper will be published by Battelle Press

Topic Areas:



Abstract Submission Deadline - JULY 31, 2007
Full Paper Deadline - AUGUST 31, 2007
Registration Deadline - August 15, 2007

Web Address:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Job - New York

Vacancy Description: Administrative Support Assistant
Open Period: 06/21/2007 - 07/05/2007
Series/Grade: GS-0303-06/07
Salary: $28,562.00 TO $41,262.00
Promotion Potential: GS-07
Hiring Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Duty Locations: 1 vacancy in Alabama, New York
For more information, Contact: Laura B. Jones, 413-253-8251


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

EJ Blog Poll Says Department of Energy Best on EJ

Current results from the EJ Blog Poll at the bottom right of this blog indicate the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is the best federal agency on addressing environmental justice. To date, DOE received 46.7 % of the vote.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was second with 33.3%. The Department of Interior has 13.3%. The Department of Agriculture has 6.7%.

The poll remains open so feel free to vote. We weill report the results again in a month or two or upon the request of any reader.

Friday, June 15, 2007

EPA Releases Success Story Documentary EJ Film

EPA premiered a documentary film on June 14 that tells the real-life story of a contaminated, low-income and minority area in Spartanburg, SC that is being transformed into a livable and vibrant community. The film, "Environmental Justice: The Power of Partnerships," was shown at the Twitchell Auditorium in Spartanburg. ReGenesis Environmental Justice Partnership, a local Spartanburg non profit organization, started the project with a $20,000 grant from the EPA in 1999. Since that time, the partnership has worked with private and public organizations to leverage over $166 million in funding.

Since 1999, ReGenesis has worked with government and industry to cleanup the Arkwright municipal dumpsite, a former fertilizer plant, and six brownfield sites. They also demolished 184 old, substandard public housing units and built more than 500 new, single-family and multi-family units for rental and home ownership. Thanks to the hard work of the ReGenesis two Superfund sites and six Brownfield sites were transformed into areas where people can live, work, and play.

This film was produced to educate viewers about EPA's Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Model, which helps communities work to solve local environmental and public health problems. The public can obtain free copies of the DVD by calling the National Service Center for Environmental Publications at 1-800-490-9198. In addition, the public can also order copies of EPA's booklet "EPA?sCollaborative Problem-Solving Model" (document #EPA-300-R-06-002), which can provide information for communities and other stakeholders on how to address their own environmental justice issues. (More on film)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Roundtable Panel Discussion on Alternative Energy

The National Small Town Alliance (NSTA) is holding a discussion on alternative energy that is being hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at their headquarters on June 28. This luncheon discussion is the first step in a process to increase diversity in the alternative energy production sector. The second step will be a larger gathering in the Fall to implement recommendations from the June 28 meeting.

For more information and to RSVP contact Kimi Washington at or 301-949-1442

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

EPA Awards $1 Million for Environmental Justice Projects

EPA awarded $100,000 grants to 10 community-based organizations for projects aimed ataddressing environmental and public health issues as childhood asthma, farm worker pesticide protection, fish consumption, indoor air quality, drinking water contamination, and lead poisoning prevention. The purpose of the funding is to assist affected communities so that they can develop proactive, strategic, and visionary approaches to address their environmental justice issues and to achieve community health and sustainability. (Information on the grants)

The following organizations received grants today:

1. Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Boston, Mass.)
2. Southwest Area Neighborhood Association Inc. (Rochester, N.Y.)
3. Coalition for Environmentally Safe Communities (Washington, D.C.)
4. Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (Duplin, N.C.)
5. Cleveland Tenants Association (Cleveland, Ohio)
6. Louisiana EJ Community Organization Coalition (Morgan City, La.)
7. Area Resources for Community and Human Services (St. Louis, Mo.)
8. San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council (Alamosa, Colo.)
9. Pacific Institutes for Studies in Development, Environment, & Security (West Oakland, Calif.)
10. Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (Seattle, Wash.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Former Congressman Parren Mitchell Dies at 85

Parren J. Mitchell, right, died on May 28 after a long and great life. The Baltimore, Maryland congressman was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and a champion of minority participation in federal contracts. He served as chairman of the House Small Business Committee and after leaving Congress served as chairman of the Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Conference organizer and EPA employee M. Arnita Hannon, left, worked for Congressman Mitchell for many years in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

NWF Seeks Communications Director

The National Wildlife Federation seeks a Communications Director to lead by example in supervising staff to produce all media-format results that penetrate to the public and opinion makers in advancing priority goals. This senior position supervises direct reports in three locations. NWF has high expectations for superior media results for Conservation Program and Education priorities that have central focus on confronting global warming.

Qualifications: College degree, 7 yrs. progressively responsible experience in non-profit, agency,journalism and politics. Track record of strategic media results.Proven management and superior written and verbal communicationsskills. Position based in Washington w/some travel. NWF offers an excellent benefits package. NWF is an equal opportunityemployer committed to workplace diversity. Please apply online at

NASA Scholarships - Application Deadline June 15

The Motivating Undergraduates in Science and Technology Program (MUST) Program will support approximately 100 undergraduate students with a one-year competitive scholarship of up to one-half of tuition, not to exceed $10,000. MUST awards scholarships and internships to undergraduates pursuing degrees in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The MUST Program is open to all students and is particularly focused on engaging students from underserved and underrepresented groups in STEM fields (Women, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and persons with disabilities). Program participants will also receive a $5,000 stipend to participate in a summer research experience at a NASA center.

Students will benefit year-round from tutoring, lecture series and mentoring from STEM faculty and peers. The scholarships and internships will be renewable for up to three years, provided the students continue to meet the academic requirements. The Motivating Undergraduates in Science and Technology Program, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is a joint partnership between NASA, the Hispanic College Fund, the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation and the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers.

APPLICATION DEADLINE The application period starts April 16th, 2007 and will close on June 15th, 2007. APPLICATIONS. Application Requirements-- Online Application which includes a letter of recommendation, a personal essay and a professional resume--Official Transcript--Proof of U.S. Citizenship

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Our Condolences To John Rosenthall

John's mother, Mrs. Inez Lay Rosenthall, passed last night after 80 years of a very active life. One of her passions was her foundation, which was established to provide assistance for textbooks for college students who grew up in her church.

The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, people may contribute to this foundation. Contributions to the foundation may be sent to: Inez Lay Rosenthall Education Fund in care of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, 525 East Capitol Street, Suite 2B Jackson MS 39201

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Environmental Justice Research Symposium

The Environmental Justice Research Symposium will be held at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment from June 7-9, 2007. An environmental justice tour of Southeast Michigan will be held on the afternoon of June 6th. There are still a few openings for panel presentations; there are still slots for poster presentations also.

If you are interested in attending the conference or presenting please register. If you are presenting, please submit an abstract soon. Conference information. Dorceta E. Taylor, right, is the symposium coordinator.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Unbelievable: The Washington Post Covers Environmental Justice

Of course, The Washington Post environmental reporters did not cover environmental justice. Evidently they think it is beneath them. Cindy Skrzycki, regulatory and business columnist for Bloomberg News wrote the story. In an article entitled, "Environmental Justice Stalled, Report Finds," Ms. Skrzycki described the conclusions of the latest United Church of Christ report, "Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty."

Many of the authors of the original report participated in the EJ 2007 Conference, but Washington Post environmental reporters were nowhere to be found. Washington Post environmental reporterrs stay as far away from environmental justice issus as possible. However, if an owl sneezes in a Utah wildlife preserve, they are all over it. Thank you Ms. Skrzycki for doing their work for them. They usually leave it up to the Black reporters at the Post to cover environmental justice.

William K. Reilly Said He Really Wanted to Participate

Norris McDonald , right, spoke to former EPA Administrator Bill Reilly, left, after his testimony before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee on the implications of the April 2 Supreme Court Decision on regulating carbon dioxide. Reilly told McDonald that he really wanted to participate in the EJ 2007 Conference but a previous commitment could not be rescheduled. Reilly was the mastermind behind the big TXU deal, which was in play during the time of the EJ conference.

As previously reported on this blog, Bill Reilly initiated environmental justice at EPA, establishing the Office on Environmental Justice. He also received a standing ovation from the environmental justice community at his last meeting with EJ stakeholders from all over the country. Reilly was EPA Administrator under President Bush 41 from 1989-1992.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Melinda Downing and Kurt Schmoke Share a Moment

Melinda Downing of the U.S. Department of Energy is pictured at left presenting a check on behalf of the EJ 2007 Conference to Kurt Schmoke, Dean of the Howard University School of Law.

That looks like a big check. Clearly Dean Schmoke has a very big smile on his face.

Howard U Minority Student Summer Enrichment Program

Howard University Academic Reinforcement for Minority Students Middle School (5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th grade) Summer Enrichment Program June 25 - August 3, 2007.


The Academic Reinforcement for Minority students (ARMS) Middle School Summer Enrichment Program (5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grades) is designed to attract students who express an interest in the Health Professions Careers. The program's goal is to encourage and inform students at an early age of careers in the Health Professions; in addition, assist young students in planning and preparing for secondary education. The curriculum includes Math/Sciences and English classes, Health Fairs, Seminars, Workshops and Educational Field Trips. Students must exhibit leadership skills as well as an interest in mathematics/science and technology. Participants will be challenged to achieve greater accomplishments.

Contact Dr. Andrews at 202-806-4211.

$100 per week for six weeks, including lunch except Fridays during field trips

8:30 am - 4:30 pm Monday through Friday

Spring Has Arrived Once Again For the EJ Movement

It was appropriate that the banner for the conference was stationed between two blooming cherry trees at the Howard University School of Law. The environmental justice bulbs planted in the Fall turned into a beautiful conference tulip and wonderful session daffodils. Now we intend to plant crops that will feed the hunger for environmental justice.

Registration - Volunteers Made It Very Pleasant

Registration went very well because of the professionalism of the enthusiastic volunteers. While John Rosenthall and Michelle Hudson, right, were dashing left and right, the registration volunteers exercised calm resolve to assure smooth matriculatio. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

EJ 2007 Conference Judged a Complete Success

The wrap-up conference call among conference stakeholders and organizers included a post-conference evaluation. The consensus was that the conference was a complete success. In fact, in many categories the conference exceeded expectations. Although the electrons of the atom were praised, the nucleus of John Rosenthall and Melinda Downing were lauded for their success in the face of numerous challenges. This proton and neutron team kept the atom stable and functioning properly. The group almost broke out into 'Kum Ba Ya.' The back slapping was merited.

Discussion proceeded to plans for the 2008 conference. A permanent structure was announced to sponsor annual environmental justice conferences. This is refreshing news because a decade is too long to wait. Hopefully, there will be expanded cooperation for future success because the issue is vitally important to America.

Monday, April 16, 2007

University of Michigan EJ Symposium in June

The University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment is hosting a symposium from June 7-9, 2007 that will focus on diversity in academia as well as domestic and international environmental justice research. The conference will bring together researchers who are academics, postdoctoral fellows, students, policymakers, environmental justice practitioners, and grantmakers to participate in plenaries, panels, and poster sessions. All conference participants are encouraged to make presentations about their research.

Ahmina Maxey, Minority Environmental Leadership Development Initiative (MELDI) School of Natural Resources and EnvironmentUniversity of Michigan440 Church St Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1115Phone: 1(734) 615-2602 URL:

EPA Office of Environmental Justice Seeks New Director

Apply Today. The U.S. EPA is seeking a new Director for its Office of Environmental Justice. Office of Environmental Justice Director Barry E. Hill announced his departure in March 2007.

OEJ consists of a professional staff of fifteen. It functions as a matrix organization around three major areas, each managed by an Associate Director. These areas are: Policy Development and Inter/Intra-Agency Coordination; Outreach; and Administration and Resources Management.

The Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) provides a central point for the Agency to address environmental and human health concerns in minority communities and/or low-income communities--a segment of the population which has been disproportionately exposed to environmental harms and risks. OEJ works to address this issue through a number of initiatives that emphasize building both external and internal networks. OEJ works within EPA to ensure that the Agency considers environmental justice issues by working with individual program offices and with the regions.

Phone: (202) 564-2515, Fax: (202) 501-0740, Toll free (800) 962-6215, Email:

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Diane Bodman Said She Thoroughly Enjoyed the Conference

Lessie Price, Diane Bodman, John Rosenthall, Melinda Downing

Diane Bodman was right at home. Clearly she is the power that propelled her other half. Mrs. Bodman attended the "Environmental Justice and Nuclear Power" Roundtable. She also attended other sessions and discussed the details of the conference with Kurt Schmoke, Dean of the Howard Law School and one of the conveners of the conference.

Mrs. Bodman was very interested in the issues presented at the conference. She questioned participants about the issues covered in the sessions. Her interest and participation are greatly appreciated. We are delighted that she participated in the conference and had a great experience. We hope she will return next year. And maybe this time she will be a panelist or moderator for one of the sessions.

Pictured: Lessie Price, Manager, Community Assistance Department, Washington Savannah River Company, prime contractor for DOE's Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C.

Pictured: Melinda Downing, Environmental Justice Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy

Michelle Hudson Demonstrated Her Logistics Wizardry

Michelle Hudson, right, handled every logistic imaginable at the 2007 EJ Conference. Low keyed and fierce, she assured that the conference ran smoothly. No detail was too small and no challenge was too large for her to handle. If the conference was The Matrix, she would be Trinity. If the conference was Alien vs Predator, she would be Sanaa Lathan. If the conference was The Terminator, she would be Sarah Conner. While John Rosenthall was being Neo, Hudson was saving him.

Michelle Hudson is a Public Participation Specialist for the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). She shuns the spotlight and prefers the practicality of logistics wizardry, but do not be mistaken, the conference could not have been successful without her.

Day 3 - Of The 2007 EJ Conference Tops It All Off

Conference Coordinator John Rosenthall, left, opened and closed the conference from the podium of the Moot Court. The final day of the conference was just as successful as the first and second days. Moreover, conferees from other parts of the country were treated to three days of perfect weather. Of course, Washington, DC has record pollen levels at this time of year. Everyday was beautiful inside and outside the conference. The cherry trees in the front of the Moot Court were in bloom on both sides of the conference banner. Conference organizers should have held some of those sessions outdoors.

Concurrent Sessions included "Impact of Federal Programs on Local Environmental Justice," Case Studies in Collaborative Problem Solving," Cooperative Approaches in Tri-national Environmental Justice Contexts," "Environmental Education," and the Closing Penary Session - "Emerging Issues in Environmental Justice" and Lifetime Achievement Awards.

And Rosenthall rode off into the sunset. There's a new sheriff in town. Great job John. Everybody else involved too. You know who you are.

EPA Well Represented at the 2007 EJ Conference

There were many participants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at the 2007 EJ Conference. Eventually we will probably list all of the very special people from EPA that attended the conference. But two very special EPA employees participated in and attended plenary and panel discussions: Randy Kelly, Deputy Asociate Administrator for Intergovernmental Relations and M. Arnita Hannon, Director, Mayors' Desk, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations (both pictured at left).

Kelly was the mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota from January, 2002 through January, 2006. Hannon was formerly with the State of Texas, American Petroleum Institute, Environmental Policy Center (Now Friends of the Earth) and Legislative Assistant for Congressman Parren Mitchell.

Dr. Mildred McClain Questions NEPA Panelists

Dr. Mildred McClain attended the 2007 EJ Conference along with an entourage of other South Carolinians that included youth and community activists. Dr. McClain is pictured at right asking a question to panelists at the session "Environmental Justice and Environmental Impact Assessments."

Mildred McClain is Executive Director of Citizens for Environmental Justice, Inc. and the Harambee House, Inc in Savannah, GA. Citizens for Environmental Justice delivers environmental education and information to African American and low-income communities. The Harambee House is a community center which focuses on political, socio-economic and community empowerment. Her education includes Ed.D. and M.A. degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education;, and an M.A. from Antioch Graduate School of Education Administration.

Super Session Manager Reiniero (Rey) Rivera

Rey Rivera of EPA's Office of Solid Waste & Emergency Response has held interesting positions at the agency, but at the 2007 EJ Conference he was a super session manager, among other responsibilities. Mr. Rivera was Session Manager for the following sessions: "Environmental Justice Through Local Actions," "Environmental Justice Fight for the Local Environment," and " Impact of State Institutions on Local Environmental Justice."

Mr. Rivera was everywhere at the 2007 EJ Conference. He is pictured at left with Richard Moore (red shirt), Excutive Director of the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice.

Exhibitors Provided Needed Information & Excellent Posters

The Poster Gallery was uniquely located in the Chapel Foyer during the first day of the conference. The solemn surroundings of the circular room focused attention on the posters. The posters traveled to a brightly lit hallway on the second and third days.

Posters presentations were provided by Carmen Cares Consulting, LLC, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Humaira Mona Hazur, California Safe Schools, TechLaw, The University of Vermont, Action Now, Seattle Public Utilities, and River Network.

Federal agency exhibitors included: U.S. Departments of Agriculture (Rural Development-Natural Resources Conservation Service), Energy (Office of Outreach-Office of the Assistant Secretary, Interior, Justice (Natural Resources Division) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Ofc of Solid Waste & Emergency Response-Ofc of Superfund Remediation & Technology Innovation- Ofc of Planning, Policy Analysis & Communications.

Kurt L. Schmoke Omnipresent at 2007 EJ Conference

Diane Bodman, left, chats with Jo Ann Fax and Dean Schmoke

Former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke was everywhere. From welcoming people at the Moot Court podium to the conference book, the Dean of the Howard Univesity School of Law was all over this conference. He worked to assure that everyone was happy and satisfied with their 2007 EJ Conference experience.

Dean Schmoke was the moderator for the plenary session that featured two of the most powerful leaders in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area: Jack Johnson and Ike Leggett, County Executives for Prince George's and Montgomery Counties, respectively. The session entitled "Intersection Between Environmental Justice and Local Land Use Planning & Zoning" was held in the large 400 seat Moot Court. They all addressed questions from the audience.

Jo Ann Fax is Executive Director, Administration & Operations, Howard University School of Law

Friday, March 30, 2007

Ike Leggett and Jack Johnson Talk Environmental Justice

John Rosenthall, center, escorts Leggett, left, and Johnson, right to the dais.

Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett spoke at the Friday Plenary Session, "Intersection Between Environmental Justice and Local Land Use Planning & Zoning."

The two county executives represent about 2 million people and they gave real world examples of the environmental justice problems they face. Interestingly, Jack Johnson represents the richest majority African American county in the country. He still gave examples of land and air pollution problems that plague the area. Mr. Leggett defended open spaces and agricultural reserves in his county. He compared any plans for building affordable housing in protected areas in the county to building them in Central Park in New York.

Not in My Term of Office (NIMTO) was highlighted by Robert E. Stein, Chair, ABA, Section IRR and law school dean Kurt Schmoke described BANANA NIMBY (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything, not in my backyard).

Our Condolences To Samara Swanston & Danny Newman

Samara Swanston's father in law died on Tuesday two days before the conference and was buried on Friday in Philadelphia. Ms. Swanston was scheduled to make a presentation on her work to preserve and promote Jamaica Bay in New York City at the Friday afternoon session, "Making the Environmental Justice-Land Use Connection in Practice: Strategies that Work." Although she had to cancel her presentation, she still drove to the conference to particpate in the Thursday session.

Day Two of the 2007 Environmental Justice Conference

Friday was just as dynamic as Thursday. Maybe more so. More people attended. Sessions were well paneled and well attended. The well-organized conference also operated just like clockwork (okay, so one session ran a little long). Clearly, organizers and participants were clicking on all cylinders. Participants ranged from Keynote speaker Granta Y. Nakayama, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Enforcement and Compliance Assurance to panelist Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network. David Padgett, Tennessee State University GIS expert moderated an interesting Environmental Justice and Transportation session.

Shelley D. Hayes Cowrote Original "Toxic Wastes & Race"

Conference attendee Shelley Hayes, left, is a lawyer, currently an Agency Representative for S & H Consulting, LLC and she is also one of the authors of the first "Toxic Wastes and Race" report. Other coauthors include Larry J. DeNeal, Iris W. Lee, Vernice Miller, Judy Richardson, William B. Oliver, Benjamin Goldman and Charles Lee.
Shelley Hayes graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1973 with an A.B. in History and Sociology. She received her Juris Doctorate from the George Washington University Law School in 1976.

Ms. Hayes joined the United States Department of Justice as an attorney-advisor to the Deputy Attorney General. Iin 1978 she joined the Office of the Solicitor of the Interior, Division of Surface Mining. In 1980, Ms. Hayes joined the Office of the Solicitor of Labor, Division Of Occupational Safety and Health, as an appellate attorney. Ms. Hayes then joined the law firm of Connerton, Bernstein and Katz, where she remained from 1983 until 1985.