Tuesday, December 9, 2008

EPA OEJ Director Requests All Federal Agencies To Support 2009 EJ Conference


December 3, 2008

MEMORANDUM,

To: Members, Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (IWG)

From: Charles Lee, Director /Signed
USEPA, Office of Environmental Justice

Subject: Federal Agency Support and Participation in the State of Environmental Justice in America 2009 Conference

The second annual State of Environmental Justice (EJ) in America Conference (Conference), held on May 21-24, 2008, at Howard University, was a resounding success. More than 300 people, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) senior management, participated in the Conference. I would like to recognize and thank the managers and staffs of the sponsoring agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, and our sister offices at the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Third Annual State of Environmental Justice in America Conference 2009 is fast approaching. The planning stages are underway for the Conference, which is scheduled for May 28-29, 2009, at the Doubletree Hotel in Crystal City, VA. EPA and DOE are planning to enter into co-sponsorship agreements with EJ Conference, Inc., a non-profit organization that represents non-federal stakeholders for the conference. EJ Conference, Inc. hosted the 2008 conference.

As you know, the IWG, and its Federal agency members, have been a major supporter of the Conference. The success of the two previous EJ in America Conferences can be attributed, in large part, to the support of Federal agencies. Financial support from the agencies helped pay for travel scholarships for community-based organization, the conference facilities, and contractor support.

With so much regional and national interest in EJ, we anticipate, and see a need for, additional Federal agency support for the 2009 Conference. We expect more community organizations to want to participate, in order to identify opportunities for collaboration with Federal agencies, particularly during the Federal agencies Listening Sessions planned for the Conference.

As a result, we ask that each department or agency consider an early commitment to support and participate in the 2009 Conference. This support may take the form of financial assistance to EJ Conference, Inc. If your agency has authority to provide funding to EJ Conference, Inc, and decides to do so, please contact John Rosenthall, President of EJ Conference, Inc. at (703) 624-2257 or email John Rosenthal.

If your agency has questions about other forms of Federal support please contact either Melinda Downing (, DOE EJ Program Manager, (202) 586-7703, or Danny Gogal, IWG Program Manager (202) 564-2576 for additional information.

1. Executive Order 12898 established the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice to help coordinate environmental justice planning among agencies. The mission of this group includes fostering collaborative projects among agencies and environmental justice communities.

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