Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NEJAC Public Meeting Albuquerque, New Mexico

National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC)

Public Meeting

October 25-26, 2011,

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Advance Registration is Now Open until October 7

The next face-to-face meeting of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) will be held at The Albuquerque Marriott Hotel, 2101 Louisiana Boulevard, NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87109, on October 25 and 26, 2011. The meeting will include a public comment period.

Meeting Registration: Registration is required for everyone (including EPA and other federal employees). Advance registration closes at Noon Mountain Time on Friday, October 7, 2011. Meeting materials will be prepared based on the number of participants who have pre-registered by that date.

On-site registration will be available; however, meeting materials will be distributed first to those who registered in advance. Any remaining materials will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are four easy ways to register:

Online: Register online

By E-mail: Send an e-mail to Meetings@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com with “Register for the NEJAC October 2011 Meeting” in the subject line. Please provide your name, organization, mailing address (including city, state, and zip code), e-mail address, and telephone number for future follow-up as necessary.

By Fax: Print the web page containing the registration form and fax to 877-773-0779.

By Phone: Leave a message at 877-773-0779. Please provide your name, job title, organization, mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number for future follow-up as necessary. Non-English speaking attendees wishing to arrange for a foreign language interpreter also may make appropriate arrangements by calling the number above.

Hotel Reservations. A limited number of rooms have been reserved at the prevailing government rate, under the group code “EPA-NEJAC.” If you are planning to stay at The Albuquerque Marriott for the meeting, you must contact the hotel directly to reserve your room. Call 1-800-334-2086 or by visiting the website. To be eligible for the negotiated room block rate, you must contact the hotel no later than Tuesday, October 11 at midnight.

Public Comment Sign-Up: Members of the public who wish to speak during the Public Comment period should pre-register by Noon Mountain Time on Friday, October 7, 2011. To accommodate the large number of people who want to address the NEJAC, only one representative of a community, organization, or group will be allowed to speak. (On-site public comment sign-up will also be available; however, those who sign-up in advance will be called to speak first.)

Written comments also can be submitted for the record. The suggested format for individuals providing written public comments is as follows:

name of speaker
name of organization/community
city and state
e-mail address
a brief description of the concern, and what you want the NEJAC to advise EPA to do

Written comments received by Noon Mountain Time on Friday, October 7, 2011, will be included in the materials distributed to the members of the NEJAC. Written comments received after that time will be provided to the NEJAC as time allows.All written comments should be sent to Meetings@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com.

For more information, please contact EPA Support Contractor, APEX Direct Inc., at 877-773-0779 or Meetings@AlwaysPursuingExcellence.com.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

EJ IWG Announces Regional Public Meetings

The Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG) will conduct public meetings in August 2011.

The purpose of the stakeholder meetings is to promote public input with federal agencies in compliance with the Environmental Justice Executive Order No. 12898. These meetings are intended to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to talk about ways that federal agencies can share information about community-focused work or opportunities and can most effectively work with community representatives experiencing environmental issues.

For more information contact Sherri White (white.sherri@epa.gov) or Dorris Riddick (riddick.dorris@epa.gov ).

Atlanta, GA, August 17, 2011, 3:00 - 6:30 pm

EPA Region 4 and the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, will host an EJ IWG stakeholder dialogue on Wednesday, August 17, 2011, from 3:00 - 6:30 pm at Clark-Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA. While this meeting will draw on community organizations, youth groups and students from the surrounding university community there will be some emphasis on the work on young people in environmental projects and environmental justice. Please send your RSVP to Karen Smith (smith.karen@epa.gov ). Space is limited.

Detroit, MI, August 24, 2011, 2:00 - 5:00 pm

The EJ IWG will conduct a stakeholder meeting on August 24, from 2:00 - 5:00 pm in conjunction with the EPA Environmental Justice Conference. The stakeholder meeting provides an opportunity for community leaders, elected officials, state and local government representatives and others to have a conversation with federal agency representatives to highlight local successes and to discuss community environmental justice concerns.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Environmental Justice Act: Chicago

Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation creating a commission to ensure minorities and the poor aren't disproportionately affected by environmental pollution. The Environmental Justice Act was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Chicago Heights and Rep. Will Davis of East Hazel Crest.

It creates a commission that will analyze state laws and policies to ensure no population bears the brunt of pollution risks. The panel will make recommendations to the governor and Legislature.

The new law addresses concerns about rising asthma rates and other health problems. Race, income or nationality shouldn't determine whether a community has clean air and water.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will provide administrative support to the commission. Members will include lawmakers, the public and health, environmental and business advocates. (Chicago Tribune, 8/16/2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

EPA EJ Eco-Ambassador Diversity Internship Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the Environmental Justice (EJ) eco-Ambassador program. Last year Administrator Lisa P. Jackson introduced the EPA eco-Ambassador program with the goal to empower communities to be safer and healthier. EPA is happy to launch this internship program to focus on environmental justice, one of Administrator Jackson's top priorities. EPA is looking for energetic and highly motivated graduate level students to work on addressing environmental justice.

Numerous opportunities are available within EPA for students to gain valuable work experience while contributing to the mission of protecting human health and the environment. Student internship opportunities are available at EPA's regional offices nationwide through the EJ eco-Ambassador program.

The goal of the internship program is to:

· Provide an opportunity for graduate level students to work collaboratively with EPA offices to support community based programs andincrease local community's capacity to address environmentalconcerns.

· Facilitate career development opportunities for graduate levelstudents who have been involved in or have a strong interest inenvironmental justice.

APPLICATION PROCESS Graduate students interested in the EJ eco-Ambassador program should apply through to the Student Diversity Internship Program (SDIP) by August 19th, 2011. Internship placements are within a 50 mile radius of student academic institution. In your application please indicate that you are interested in the EJ eco-Ambassador Program.


· All U.S. citizens, including residents of Puerto Rico, the VirginIslands, and other U.S. territories may apply

· Applicants must be full-time graduate students attending an U.S. accredited institution as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education

· Applicants must have a minimum 2.8 on a 4.0 grading scale (Baverage and above); and

· Have previously been involved or have a strong interest in environmental justice, social justice issues and/or environmental health disparities in an academic, volunteer and/ or employment setting

· Applicants may be pursuing a degree in: Environmental HealthScience, Public Health, Public Policy, Environmental Management, Environmental Law, other areas relating to public service, and environmental concerns.


· Stipend and Support: Graduate Stipend ($6,000)

· Internship Experience: 10-week part-time experience at EPAHeadquarters, Regions and/or Labs.

· Professional Development: Student orientation, web-based professional development training, networking through UNCFSP Virtual Network and portal opportunity (internships, scholarships, etc).

Visit the EPA Environmental Justice website for additional Informationon Environmental Justice Activities. Mustafa S. Ali, Associate Director Office of Environmental Justice 202-564-2606202-501-0740

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Obama Agencies Sign EJ Memorandum of Understand

The Obama Administration today announced Federal agencies have agreed to develop environmental justice strategies to protect the health of people living in communities overburdened by pollution and provide the public with annual progress reports on their efforts. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder were joined by agency heads across the Administration in signing the “Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Justice and Executive Order 12898” (EJ MOU). "

Environmental justice means that all communities overburdened by pollution – particularly minority, low income and tribal communities – deserve the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, equal access to the Federal decision-making process, and a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.

The signing of the EJ MOU is the latest in a series of steps the Obama Administration has taken to elevate the environmental justice conversation and address the inequities that may be present in some communities. Last September, Jackson and Sutley reconvened the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG) for the first time in more than a decade. In December, at the White House Environmental Justice Forum, Cabinet Secretaries and other senior Administration officials met with more than 100 environmental justice leaders from across the country to engage advocates on issues that are affecting their communities, including reducing air pollution, addressing health disparities, and capitalizing on emerging clean energy job opportunities.

The MOU advances agency responsibilities outlined in the 1994 Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.” The Executive Order directs each of the named Federal agencies to make environmental justice part of its mission and to work with the other agencies on environmental justice issues as members of the EJ IWG. The EJ MOU broadens the reach of the EJ IWG to include participant agencies not originally named in Executive Order 12898 and adopts an EJ IWG charter, which provides the workgroup with more structure and direction. It also formalizes the environmental justice commitments that agencies have made over the past year, providing a roadmap for agencies to better coordinate their efforts.

Specific areas of focus include considering the environmental justice impacts of climate adaptation and commercial transportation, and strengthening environmental justice efforts under the National Environmental Policy Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The MOU also outlines processes and procedures to help overburdened communities more efficiently and effectively engage agencies as they make decisions.

The following agencies signed the EJ MOU: Environmental Protection Agency; White House Council on Environmental Quality; Department of Health and Human Services; Department of Justice; Department of Agriculture; Department of Commerce; Department of Defense; Department of Education; Department of Energy; Department of Homeland Security; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Department of Interior; Department of Labor; Department of Transportation; Department of Veterans Affairs; General Services Administration; and Small Business Administration.

Read the EJ MOU

More information on the EJ IWG