Welcome to the Spring 2010 TRI webinar: Using TRI to Support Environmental Justice Page!
The Environmental Council of the States and US Environmental Protection Agency recently held the the Spring 2010 TRI webinar: Using TRI to Support Environmental Justice. The purpose of the webinar was to share experiences and lessons learned using TRI to address environmental justice concerns and to build from those experiences by expanding TRI use among current and potential users who work on environmental justice issues. This webinar was open to the public.
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Working for Environmental Justice
TRI Background and Practical Demonstrations
TRI Program Update
Use of TRI to Address Community EJ Concerns
Using EPA’s Risk Screening Environmental Indicators to Support Environmental Justice
Michael Ash (Ph.D., Economics, UC-Berkeley 1999) is associate professor of economics and public policy at UMass Amherst. His areas of expertise are labor, health, and environmental economics, examined primarily through quantitative models. Ash’s main interests in environmental policy include disclosure and right-to-know laws, greenhouse-gas policy, and environmental justice. At UMass, Ash co-directs the Corporate Toxics Information Project of the Political Economy Research Institute, which publishes the Toxic 100, an index that identifies the top U.S. toxic polluters among the world’s largest corporations. Ash served as staff labor economist for the Council of Economic Advisers (Washington, DC) in 1995-1996 and as Princeton Project 55 Fellow for the Trenton Office of Policy Studies (Trenton, NJ) in 1991-1992.
Heather Anne Case is the Deputy Director of the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ). During her 14-year EPA career, Heather has served as a Branch Chief in the Office Environmental Information where she guided work in the environmental indicator development and reporting, environmental health analysis, and analytical tool development. Heather was a leader in EPA’s Environmental Indicators Initiative and the development of the EPA Draft Report on the Environment 2003 (ROE). Heather also has extensive experience in the areas strategic planning, performance measurement, and the development and use of information technology to support organizational priorities. Prior to joining EPA in 1996, Heather supported toxicology and epidemiological research. Heather earned her Master of Public Health from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Rutgers University. Heather graduated from the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, earning a Master in Business Administration in May 2009.
He spent the last 35 years working in public health and environmental programs in Idaho. His first 17 years were as an employee of the Environmental Health Division of the Panhandle Health District, a regional health department serving the five northern counties of Idaho. Working in the total Environmental Health Program soon evolved into a specialization in water quality protection issues. At this time the Health District became a contractor for the Idaho Division of Environmental Quality gathering data and summarizing problems related to ground and Lake Water degradation. These initial efforts in ground water planning later led to the formulation of the regulation of discharges into the Rathdrum Prairie / Spokane Valley aquifer. He was a part of this in that as a staff member of the planning team he did on the ground inventorying of small quantity sewage, storm water, commercial, and industrial discharges into the area lakes, streams and aquifers.
As Northern Idaho became more aware of the importance of protecting water quality the Legislature responded by creating the Clean Lakes Coordinating Council, a group of interested citizens appointed by the Governor and charged with creating water quality protection plans for the northern lakes. Tony was the first coordinator of this group who organized their meetings, formed their technical and profession advisory groups, and began writing their plans, completing two before jointing the staff of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) in 1990.
At DEQ Tony’s first assignment was investigation of ground water degradation incidents and first response to accidental hazmat spills as a first responder. When the Safe Drinking Water Program expanded in the early 1990 he became a member of the implementation staff. This assignment was chiefly inspections, writing and analyzing monitoring schedules based on system classifications, and finally helping to implement the SDWIS program in the regional offices of IDEQ. Tony retired as a Senior Analyst for IDEQ in June of 2007 and set out to see the world.
Mariela L. Lopez
Mariela Lopez has been with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 2002. She is currently a Program and Enforcement Officer in the Toxics Release Inventory Program at the U.S. EPA Region 9 in San Francisco. Mariela has worked with the TRI Program since 2006, prior to that she worked in EPA’s Pacific Islands Office.
Mariela earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley in 2006. Mariela is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public Health from San Francisco State University.
Julia is an engineer and has worked at Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) for 20 years on industrial pollution sources, emissions sources, pollution prevention options, and community impacts. She has worked extensively with community members who want to know about the local emissions from industrial facilities. She has focused her evaluations substantially on oil refinery air pollution sources, but has also spent much time on a variety of industrial facilities reporting to the TRI including metal finishers, foam manufacturers, printers, and many others. She was at CBE when TRI data first became available, when her CBE had only two computers for the entire organization using DOS commands (back in the old days!).
Rebecca Moser is Acting Director of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program Division within EPA’s Office of Environmental Information. She is currently leading a number of efforts to enhance the TRI data and make it more useful and accessible to the public. During her 17-year Federal career, Rebecca has also served as Associate Director for the TRI Program Division, Chief of TRI’s Regulatory Development Branch, and Manager of the Exchange Network Grant Program. Rebecca has experience in strategic planning, budgetary development and execution, team leadership, information sensitivity issues, and guiding the use information technology to meet organizational business needs. Before coming to EPA, Rebecca worked for the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, within the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she was involved in a number of sustainable development and environmental indicator efforts. Rebecca holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Oberlin College and an M.S. degree in Biology, with a focus on Environmental Science and Public Policy, from George Mason University. She also completed the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Certificate Program at National Defense University/Information Resources Management College and the program, “Leadership for a Democratic Society,” at the Federal Executive Institute.
James L. Sadd
James L. Sadd, PhD is Professor of Environmental Science at Occidental College, Los Angeles, California. He earned his doctorate in geology at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. His research focuses on evaluating questions related to environmental exposure, health risk, and environmental justice primarily through the use of spatial analysis using geographic information systems and remote sensing tools. His recent research is currently supported by contracts and grants from the California EPA, California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, Hewlett, Annenberg and Energy Foundations, and the California Endowment.
Committed to protecting the environment and the health and safety of citizens, Wilma Subra started Subra Company in 1981. Subra Company is a chemistry lab and environmental consulting firm in New Iberia, LA. Mrs. Subra provides technical assistance to citizens, across the United States and some foreign countries, concerned with their environment by combining technical research and evaluation. This information is then presented to community members so that strategies may be developed to address their local struggles.
Utilizing the information gained from community involvement, the needs identified are translated into policy changes at the State and Federal level through service on multi-stake holder committees. She has just completed a seven year term as Vice-Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT), a five year term on the National Advisory Committee of the U. S. Representative to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and a six year term on the EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) where she served as a member of the Cumulative Risk and Impacts Working Group of the NEJAC Council, and chaired the NEJAC Gulf Coast Hurricanes Work Group.
Mrs. Subra holds degrees in Microbiology/Chemistry from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. She received the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” Award from the MacArthur Foundation for helping ordinary citizens understand, cope with and combat environmental issues in their communities and was one of three finalist in the Environmental Category of the 2004 Volvo for Life Award.
ECOS received numerous questions from attendees during the May 25, 2010 TRI EJ Webinar. Many questions were answered by the presenters, but many were left unanswered, due to time constraints.
The unanswered questions were passed along to the presenters who have provided responses to them. These can be found below in a “Frequently Asked Questions Bank” which has been organized by presentations. Additionally, the FAQ Bank also includes responses to some questions that were answered during the Webinar.
Responses from US EPA
Responses from Wilma Subra
Responses from Julia May
Jennifer Major, Ross & Associates (representing ECOS) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Arcari, U.S. EPA at email@example.com