Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Announcing OSWER Video Town Hall Discussion

Video Town Hall discussion on February 23‏

From: Mathy Stanislaus

Sent: Wed 2/17/10 12:59 PM

To: Stakeholders

Hello, I'm happy to announce that OSWER will be holding our second Video Town Hall discussion on Tuesday, February 23 from 1:30 - 3:00 PM EST. Anyone who wishes to attend will have an opportunity to ask questions directly to myself and other EPA experts. The discussion will cover two topics:

1) Reducing your carbon footprint through reducing, reusing, andrecycling. Everyone knows that practicing the "three Rs" - reducing, reusing, and recycling - minimizes waste and reduces the need forl andfill space. What not everyone knows is that reducing, reusing,and recycling is also an effective way to reduce the production ofthe greenhouse gases that cause climate change. By reducing our need for materials, we conserve the energy that is expended at every stageof a product's lifecycle. EPA wants to know what you're doing at home, at work, or at school to fight climate change by using the three Rs, and what we can do to help.

2) EPA's Environmental Justice analysis of the Definition of Solid Waste rule. In January, EPA began requesting public input on a draft plan (viewable here) for assessing the potential impacts of its hazardous waste recycling rule on low-income, minority and tribal populations. EPA is hosting a series of public round tables on this topic in early 2010.

This Video Town Hall meeting offers another opportunity for the public to share their thoughts on the draft plan. There are two ways to attend the Video Town Hall:

1. Watch online. Access the streaming video feed at . You can e-mail questions to town hall before or during the meeting. We will select a representative sample of questions and answer as many as possible. Please include your name or organization when submitting a question. or...

2. Call in. You can listen to the meeting toll-free by calling1-877-220-5073, conference code 51715371. People attending byphone will have an opportunity to ask questions towards the end of the meeting. We will answer as many questions as possible. As always, information about this Video Town Hall and previous discussions is available at I hope you'll join me on the 23rd.


Mathy Stanislaus

Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and EmergencyResponse

Monday, February 15, 2010

EPA Announces California EJ Achievement Awards

The Environmental Protection Agency gave its annual Environmental Justice Achievement Award to the dozen community groups, health agencies and environmental groups for their work in protecting people from eating contaminated fish caught off the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The ceremony was held at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro. , The Palos Verdes Shelf Fish Contamination Education Collaborative includes Boat People SOS, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the Asian Youth Center, Heal the Bay and St. Anselm's Cross-Cultural Community Center.

Fish from the waters off the Palos Verdes Peninsula have been a health risk for more than 25 years because the ocean floor there has one of the nation's largest deposits of DDT and PCBs. Some anglers, especially those in the immigrant community, were catching fish to supplement their diet without knowing of the health risk. The collaborative has tried to correct that by telling fishermen to steer clear of toxic-prone fish like the white croaker.

The EPA gives out its environmental justice award each year to an initiative working to improve the environment for vulnerable communities, often serving poor people of color who lack the resources of other conservation groups. (L.A. Times, 2/12/10, Photo courtesy EPA)

Friday, February 12, 2010

New York City Law Review Hosts EJ Discussion

The New York City Law Review is sponsoring a panel discussion on environmental justice issues in New York City, "Whose Survival? Environmental Justice as a Civil Rights Issue, " on Thursday, February 18, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Auditorium, CUNY School of Law65-21 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11367


*Majora Carter – President, Majora Carter Group
*David Palmer – Interim Executive Director, Center for Working Families
*Miranda Massie – Senior Staff Attorney, N.Y. Lawyers for the Public Interest, Environmental Justice section
*Elizabeth Yeampierre – Executive Director, United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park

This panel will highlight how the purpose of the environmental justice movement is to combat “environmental racism,” a term used to refer to a multitude of racial and economic injustices wrought upon impoverished communities through the inequitable distribution of environmental burdens. The panel will trace the emergence and development of key issues in the environmental justice movement in New York City, including brownfield redevelopment, school siting and contaminants, air quality, and inequitable distribution of open space.

Panelists will address the role of communities and activists, as well as lawyers and policymakers in identifying and advocating against environmental injustices; the nature of interaction between these roles and the remedies each effects; and how such advocacy dovetails with community-building, local economic development, and the "green" revolution. This panel will be moderated by Professor Carmen Huertas-Noble, Director of the Community and Economic Development Clinic at the law school. Additionally, the CUNY Green Coalition will be hosting a 'wine and cheese' (local wines and organic snacks) reception following the panel to continue the discussion that the panel begins, where they will also be accepting donations for the BLSA-Green Coalition inaugural summer environmental law fellowship.

Attendance is free, but please RSVP for the panel discussion.

The New York City Law Review is CUNY Law School’s student-run publication that seeks to publish the best of legal scholarship from all points of view on various legal topics within the broad framework of the Law School’s mission statement, “Law in the Service of Human Needs.”

More information about Law Review


Monday, February 8, 2010

Earth911 Celebrates Eco-Warriors For Black History Month

People To Celebrate

by Marisa McNatt

Devoting the month of February as a time to recognize African Americans’ contributions to society began with Carter G. Woodson in the early 1920s. After spending his childhood working on Kentucky coalmines and finishing high school at the age of 22, Woodson went on to earn his doctorate at Harvard University. Reading the history books, he was dismayed at the lack of attention paid to African American history.

So we thought we’d compile our own list of African Americans acting as stewards of the environment. Watch out for these eco-warriors because this won’t be the last time you hear about them. Featured are Dorceta Taylor, John Rosenthall, Norris McDonald and Samara Swanston.

Earth911 is an environmental services company that addresses product end-of-life solutions for businesses and consumers. It provides the platform and tools needed to support recycling and proper disposal for various products, giving the people who buy them a number of ways to participate in companies’ sustainability initiatives. Through its innovative Local Recycling and Proper Disposal Database, hosts information for hundreds of products in over 117,000 listings across the country.

Marisa McNatt, pictured above, is in the master's journalism program at the University of Colorado at Boulder and is earning a certificate in environmental policy and society.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Obama Administration Officials Promote Sustainable Communities, Environmental Justice at Smart Growth Conference

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, left, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, right, visited Seattle today (Thursday, February 4), to address the 9th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. They were joined by Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus, below.

Speaking before an audience of more than 1,500 key planners, public health professionals, developers, government staff and elected officials Secretaries Donovan and LaHood and Assistant Administrator Stanislaus discussed the ways their agencies are working together through the Obama Administration’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities to improve access to affordable housing, provide better transportation options, and protect public health and the environment.

The President proposed $527 million in his budget for an ambitious new livability initiative at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Its Office of Livable Communities will be a focal point for initiatives such as expanding transit in low-income neighborhoods. It will fund a grant program to help state and local transportation agencies provide more transportation choices that spur economic development.

The New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, taking place Feb. 4-6, is the premier national smart growth conference, bringing together experts from a wide range of disciplines to discuss transportation, housing and urban development, public health, equitable development, environmental protection, and other topics. The partnership agencies are working together more closely than ever before to meet the president’s challenge to coordinate federal policies, programs, and resources to help urban, suburban, and rural areas build more sustainable communities.

The New Partners for Smart Growth Conference is managed by the Local Government Commission, in partnership with EPA, DOT, and other public and private sponsors.

More about the Partnership for Sustainable Communities

More on EPA’s Smart Growth Program

More information on HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities