Thursday, May 26, 2011

EPA EJ Listening Session on Permitting

Listening Sessions on Plan EJ 2014: Considering Environmental Justice in Permitting

Environmental Justice is one of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's top priorities for EPA. Plan EJ 2014 is EPA's roadmap for carrying out the Administrator's priority. As laid out in the ‘Plan EJ 2014 Considering Environmental Justice in Permitting’ draft implementation plan, EPA is examining ways to better integrate environmental justice considerations into the permits issued under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and other environmental laws. A crucial step in this process is for EPA to get feedback from individuals and organizations that have experience and an interest in this issue on the focus and outcomes of the initiative. Accordingly, EPA has scheduled six Listening Sessions, organized by stakeholder group, to provide an opportunity for those stakeholders to express their views on the initiative.

Suggested topics for comment are:

· What ideas do you have for tools or mechanisms to assist in incorporating EJ into permitting?
· In light of your experience with environmental justice issues in the contextof a facility permit, what are your successes and lessons learned?
· What permits (e.g., the type and location) should EPA focus on in the initiative?
· Some states have developed programs addressing EJ in Permitting. For example, Connecticut and Indiana:

o (Connecticut)
o (Illinois)

Do you have any recommendation for the EPA initiative based on the state programs?

Schedule for Listening Sessions:

Session 1: State and Local GovernmentsJune 6, 2011, 2 pm to 4 pm EST Call In Number: (877) 290-8017 Conference ID # 71516105

Session 2: Business and Industry June 9, 2011, 1 pm to 3 pm EST Call In Number: (877) 290-8017 Conference ID # 71551164

Session 3: Environmental GroupsJune 9, 2011, 3pm to 5 pm EST Call In Number: (877) 290-8017 Conference ID # 71560406

Session 4: Tribes: Governments, Communities, Businesses June 13, 2011, 2 pm to 3 pm EST Call In Number: (877) 290-8017 Conference ID # 71564865

Session 5: Environmental Justice Communities and Community Groups June 13: 6 pm to 8 pm EST Call In Number: (877) 290-8017 Conference ID # 71574604

Session 6: Spanish Language (Call will be hosted in Spanish) June 13: 8 pm to 9 pm EST Call In Number: (877) 290-8017 Conference ID # 71581266

Purpose of the Listening Sessions: The listening sessions will provide an opportunity for speakers to convey to EPA ideas, concerns and recommendations in connection with EPA’s EJ Permitting Initiative. These Listening Sessions are intended as opportunities for EPA to listen to you, therefore EPA will not be responding to comments on the call. The comments will inform EPA’s work on the EJ permitting initiative going forward.

How the Listening Sessions Will Work: EPA has designed a process to allow EPA to hear from as many organizations and individuals as possible. Each Listening Session will focus on a particular stakeholder group. To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to share their views, we ask that only members of that particular stakeholder group ask to speak and only one representative of a particular organization provide remarks during the Listening Session. Individuals that are not able to speak on the call can submit written comments before and after the Listening Sessions. A recording and transcript of every listening session will be available on the EJ website after the sessions.

To Submit Written Comments

EPA welcomes written comments before or after the Listening Sessions. The deadline for submitting written comments is June 30, 2011.

Submit written comments via email to

Additional Information or Questions

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Remembering Damu Smith

We Miss You Damu

Damu Smith died five years ago today (May 5, 2006). Many of the younger crop of new African American environmentalists never met Damu. Yet Smith lives on in the minds of those who knew him. Damu brought his own unique presence to the environmental and environmental justice movements. Damu aggressively addressed environmental racism as leader of the National Black Environmental Justice Network.

He took the name Damu, which means "blood, leadership and strength" in the Swahili language of Kenya.

Damu Smith was an activist. Damu was a radio talk show host. He was a father. Smith's daughter, Asha Moore Smith is 18 now.

Washington Post reporter Darryl Fears covered Damu's last days. Africa Roots Library provides and excellent compilation of Damu's life. Damu's Middle East and anti war activism is described in Washington Report. Democracy Now covered one of Smith's anti war speeches on behalf of Black Voices for Peace, one of the organizations he founded. Democracy Now also covered Damu's fight with colon cancer. gives an great comprehensive description of Damu. And of course, Google now provides Images of Damu Smith & Videos of Damu Smith. The Los Angeles Times and numerous other news oulets reported on Damu's death.