Saturday, May 31, 2008

Conference Feedback, Pictures & Other Info Wanted

The 2008 conference was a complete success and we want to hear about it from participants and attendees. If you have pictures, please send them and they will be published on the blog. We will also be happy to give photo credits if requested. Feedback on the sessions would be greatly appreciated too.

Thank you in advance for your feedback and pictures. See the contact information at right.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Conference A Complete Success

This second annual conference is a complete success. Everything is running smoothly and conferees are enjoying the information workshops and the dynamic networking. The State of Environmental Justice in America Conference has now institutionalized the once a decade People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. The State of EJ annual conference provides the perfect symbiosis of public and private sector evaluations of current environmental justice public policy issues with real world community problem solving.

Although there has been talk about establishing such a vehicle for annual oversight for years, John Rosenthall and the State of EJ in America Conference planning committee have actually implemented an institution that was highly recommended by environmental justice activists and government agencies. The conference brings together people who need to meet with each other at least once a year. Everyone seems to agree that relationships are renewed and innovative solutions contemplated during the four days of the State of EJ in America Conference. We do not know what will ultimately come from these annual conferences, but we do know that the creative genius of some of America's most talented individuals now has an outlet for expression.

Quentin Pair Hospitalized - Conferees Deeply Concerned




Quentin is in the intensive care unit at the Washington Hospital Center. Conferees prayed for his speedy recovery at a dinner at Beveridge and Diamond.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The State of Environmenal Justice In America 2008 Is Ready

Conference Coordinator John Rosenthall, right, says everything is ready for The State of Environmental Justice in America 2008 Conference. We expect an exciting week of discussions about the current status of green equity.

Attendees and participants will be treated to a wide variety of subjects and the latest information related to environmental justice. Forums will address local, national and international environmental justice issues. Federal, state and local government perspectives will be represented at the conference. Private sector, NGO, and institutions of higher learning will be involved with dissemination of up-to-date data, anecdotes, research and development descriptions in the sectors affected by the environmental justice issue. There are also informational displays. The Howard University School of Law is happy to serve as host site for the second year and welcomes all participants.

So relax and network at this second annual conference. The planning committee has devised a stimulating program and we hope you all enjoy your attendance.

Interview: John C. Cruden, Deputy Assistant Attorney General

John C. Cruden, left, serves as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In that capacity, he is responsible for supervising a wide variety of environmental litigation, including civil enforcement actions in federal court for the key federal environmental statutes, including Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, RCRA, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Superfund law.
2008 EJ Conference, Inc.: What is the mission of the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) in the U.S. Department of Justice?

Mr. Cruden: The primary mission of ENRD is: (1) to represent the United States in enforcing the nation’s environmental and natural resources laws; and (2) to defend federal agencies that carry out policies and programs to implement these and other laws. ENRD has a docket of well over 7,000 pending cases and matters, with litigation in every judicial district in the nation. We are responsible for cases arising from more than 70 different environmental and natural resources laws.

2008 EJ Conference, Inc.: How does ENRD incorporate EJ into its mission?

Mr. Cruden: ENRD’s commitment to fairness and consistency in adopting, applying and enforcing all laws includes our strong position that no community should be subject to environmental harms stemming from illegal activity.

2008 EJ Conference, Inc.: What is your role in the 2008 EJ Conference?

Mr. Cruden: I am scheduled to make a presentation during the Conference’s plenary session on Thursday, May 22 along with representatives from EPA and the US Department of Energy.

2008 EJ Conference, Inc.: What message would you like those attending the Conference to take home?

Mr. Cruden: As we have described, environmental justice is an important part of the mission of the Environment and Natural Resources Division in the Department of Justice. ENRD addresses environmental justice concerns in our cases - both enforcement and defensive - and assists other agencies and communities through the Interagency Working Group under the Executive Order.

Damu Smith

It has been two years since we lost this great environmental justice activist. Know that you are missed Damu. We need you now more than ever. (1952-2006)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Call for Environmental Justice Papers

The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) intends to publish a themeissue that will feature current research and contributions ofenvironmental justice and community-based participatory research projects to the fields of environmental and occupational health. Key topics to be addressed include exposure assessment, especially as it relates to cumulative risk; environment-related diseases; communitybased approaches to improving exposure and disease surveillance for populations that are hard to track; and evaluation of partnerships designed to promote health research, education, and prevention/intervention programs for low-income, immigrant, and minority populations who may be disproportionately exposed to environmental and occupational stressors.

Research articles and briefs that address these issues and provideinnovative insights into the influence of economic and social factors on the health status of individuals exposed to environmental toxicants andoccupational hazards and their impact on public health will be considered. Papers that address novel models, approaches or theories on, but not limited to, capacity building; health communication strategiesthat consider culture, language, and literacy; policy change; andcommunity-based partnerships will be considered for Field Action Reports. Analytic essays on new research and communication strategies toaddress emerging environmental or occupational health problems will beconsidered for the Framing Health Matters; Government, Politics, andLaw; and Health Policy and Ethics forums. All manuscripts will undergothe standard peer review process by the AJPH editors and peer refereesas defined by AJPH policy. Submit manuscripts by August 1, 2008.

This special, on-line issue on Environmental Justice and Occupational Justice will be published electronically rather than physically. It will still undergo the same peer review rigor as any professional publication.The purpose of the special issue is to demonstrate the advancement of EJ and OJ since the early 1990s, and how projects in these areas have contributed to the fields of environmental health and occupational health. Hopefully, this special issue can serve as a means to clearly show the state of EJ and OJ. The submission date is August 1, 2008.
Questions - contact--Liam O'Fallon, NIEHS Liam R. O'Fallon Program Analyst Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Institutes of Health U.S. Department of Health and Human Services P.O. Box 12233 (MD EC-21)Research Triangle Park, NC 27709(T) 919.541.7733 (F) 919.316.4606 (E) (W) /science-education/Overnight Deliveries:79 TW Alexander Drive Bldg 4401, Room 3457 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Partnership for Environmental Health and Asthma Campaign

Title: Partnership for Environmental Health and Asthma Campaign - The Community Coalition for Environmental Justice

Abstract: Formed in April 2006, The Partnership for Environmental Health and Asthma (PEHA) provided community-based environmental education projects for the Rainier Beach area in Seattle, Washington. PEHA is a south Seattle-based community group that spearheaded a No-Idling campaign to address air quality in our neighborhoods. The PEHA project is a campaign of The Community Coalition for Environmental Justice (CCEJ). CCEJ is Seattle’s first environmental justice group. Convened by Black and Asian Pacific women in 1993 with support from a diverse group of organizations and individuals, CCEJ created a broad-based coalition that includes impacted residents, community activists, environmental groups, agencies and others to make environmental justice a major priority in Seattle.

CCEJ is a multi-issue, grassroots, multiethnic, nonprofit, 501 © 3 whose mission is to achieve environmental and economic justice in low-income communities and communities of color. CCEJ works to achieve our mission through grassroots organizing, direct action, policy advocacy and building community capacity to balance unequal distributions of power.

Secret Charles, MA
Toxic Beauty Outreach Specialist

Abstract: Building Community Capacity

Title: “Building Community Capacity through Environmental Education and Outreach Activities”

Abstract: Too many low income and underserved communities are impacted with environmental hazards, and community members are eager to understand what’s in their communities and how these hazards are connected to their health. The Environmental Justice Partnership (EJP) is a non-profit grassroots community organization which has evolved from being a research project to becoming a 501(c)(3) organization. The EJP’s mission is to build community capacity through conducting environmental education and outreach activities. These activities include venues like Chat & Chews, Toxic Tours, Community Research Advisory Boards, EJP Newsletters, EJP Day at the Market, Educational and Outreach Products developed with students from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and partnering with the Baltimore Region Environmental Justice in Transportation Project. These venues increase communities’ ability to become knowledgeable about environmental hazards while embracing true partnerships with researchers in all stages of the research planning, execution and dissemination of the findings.

Leon C. Purnell, President
Environmental Justice Partnership, Inc.
Baltimore, MD

Designing Chemical Safety Models for Community Organizations

Abstract Title: Designing Chemical Safety Models for Community-based Organizations

Overview: Katrina and 9/11 highlighted the importance of planning for and preventing accidental and intentional releases as well as limiting the impact of natural disasters on all populations, but especially low income communities. While few could predict a hurricane like Katrina or a terrorist attack like 9/11, one can assess risks and vulnerabilities in local communities and develop appropriate mitigating protocols and procedures to reduce human health and ecological impacts.

Objectives: Provide the environmental justice community with useful tools to reduce the risk of chemical exposure resulting from natural disasters as well as accidental and intentional releases into the environment. Offer tools for increased collaboration between community-based organizations, state and local preparedness officials, and business and industry.

Methods: Using the Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO) suite and standard exercise tools, we will demonstrate the location of facilities, populations and other receptors, and how to limit the impacts of releases. CAMEO is a suite of software applications used widely to plan for and respond to chemical emergencies. It was developed by EPA’s Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office (CEPPO) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Response and Restoration to assist front-line chemical emergency planners and responders. CAMEO can be used to access, store, and evaluate information critical for developing emergency plans. In addition, CAMEO supports regulatory compliance by helping users meet the chemical inventory reporting requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA, also known as SARA Title III) and Clean Air Act 112r.

Results: Provide attendees with useful tools to plan for, prevent and respond to chemical accidents and intentional releases.

Conclusions: Low income and minority populations can support and contribute to emergency preparedness consistent with ongoing environmental and public health planning exercises.

Deborah Brown, Chief, RCRA, EPCRA and Federal Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, Region I

Friday, May 2, 2008

Interview With Jeffrey M. Allison, Savannah River Project

Mr. Jeffrey M. Allison, left, was appointed Manager of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Savannah River Operations Office (SR), Aiken, South Carolina, in March 2003. He is a career member of the Senior Executive Service with more than 24 years of experience in engineering, safety, health, process development, and management of DOE’s nuclear operations, including chemical processing facilities, and laboratories.

EJ Conference, Inc. What is the Savannah River Site (SRS)?

Mr. Allison: The SRS is a DOE Environmental Management (EM) program owned, 310-square mile site with about 11,000 employees and a $2 billion budget. SR’s current mission is to solve critical cleanup challenges with smart solutions; secure nuclear materials for safe consolidation, reuse or disposal; and transform the site for our nation's future. Today, SRS leads the DOE Complex in cleanup of the nuclear waste legacy, which is yielding important results for the site and the nation, such as:

Turning radioactive liquid waste to a solid, safe form;
Emptying and closing waste tanks with key support from regulators and the community;
Closing-in on completing the safe disposal of solid waste;
Protecting groundwater with early actions using unique technologies; and
Completing cleanup of large contaminated areas with smart approaches
EJ Conference, Inc. How has Environmental Justice (EJ) changed over the last 10 years at SRS?

Mr. Allison: Due to the culture during the Cold War era (1950s – 1980s), and the nature of our mission, SRS was under a shroud of secrecy for national defense reasons. However, in the mid 80s and after the Cold War ended, we began an active public outreach program to communicate the mission, vision, and goals. Given the many years of silence, SRS initially struggled to gain credibility and stakeholders’ trust. Continuing to broaden the EJ Program by collaborating with the Medical University of South Carolina and the National Small Town Alliance, has allowed us to communicate with more people.

National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee Meeting

The 2008 NEJAC Meeting is scheduled for June 10 - 12, 2008 at the Washington Court Hotel on Capital Hill, 525 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001.

The next meeting of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) will be used to discuss and receive comments about:

(1) strategies to identify, mitigate, and/or address the disproportionate burden on communities of air pollution resulting from goods movement activities; and

(2) key issues related to the integration of environmental justice considerations in EPA's programs, policies, and activities, including green business and sustainability, natinally-consistent EJ screening approaches, and development of a State EJ grant program.

The NEJAC meeting will convene on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. and adjourn on Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. On Tuesday, June 10, 2008, members of the public will have an opportunity to provide comments about both topics during the public comment period. NEJAC was established to ensure that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) receives the viewpoints of diverse stakeholders on issues related to environmental justice. The NEJAC Executive Council consists of up to 26 members representing community groups; business and industry; state, local and tribal governments; and both environmental and nongovernmental organizations.

P UBLIC COMMENT: The Public Comment Period is scheduled for Tuesday evening, June 10, 2008 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. All speakers during the public comment period are limited to five minutes. To allow as many organizations as possible the opportunity to present their concerns, only one representative per organization should provide comments.

PRE-REGISTRATION: Please pre-register if you wish to attend the public meeting. There are three ways to pre-register, including: -- Pre-register online at -- Complete the pre-registration form, available at Once completed, return the form by: fax: (781) 676-4005 or mail: Ms. Julianne Pardi, ICF International, 33 Hayden Avenue, 3rd Floor, Lexington, MA 02421. -- Request a hardcopy form by calling the toll-free NEJAC information line at (866) 390-5178 or e-mail your request to Return the completed form by mail to the address above. If you have any questions, please call the toll-free NEJAC information line at (866) 390-5178 or e-mail at Individuals who require special arrangements can contact Ms. Julianne Pardi, ICF International by: telephone: (866) 390-5178, fax: (781) 676-4005, or e-mail