The response to Hurricane Harvey is one of the topics covered at the Environmental Justice Forum June 12-13. Above, EPA command post during Hurricane Harvey. Courtesy of EPA.
June 7, 2018
On the national scene, all the policy rollbacks coming from the Environmental Protection Agency have been making environmentlists cringe. But next week, the local EPA headquarters offers a break from the partisan whiplash with examples of the good that can happen when government, industry and communities work together.
The Environmental Justice Forum hosted by EPA Region 6 will be held June 12-13 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dallas. The free day and half event will showcase successful collaborations of stakeholders across the five-state Region 6 area, which includes Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
“We want to demonstrate the strides that have been made by working together to improve air, water and land where we live, work and play,” said Gloria Vaughn, associate director for environmental justice at the EPA Region 6 headquarters in Dallas.
A variety of topics will be covered with something to appeal to every environmental justice insider, including the collaboration to cleanup the Tar Creek Superfund Site in Oklahoma, the benefits of air monitoring in disadvantaged communities, getting the lead out of the Fort Worth water system, an Arkansas city’s efforts to remove asbestos from dilapidated buildings, and the government response to Hurricane Harvey. See full agenda.
“I would recommend folks attend to hear from scientists and citizens and the case studies they offer,” said Jim Schermbeck, director of Downwinders at Risk.
Vaughn said the event will also be an opportunity for the community to talk with local, state and federal EPA staff and connect with people in nearby states with similar issues and concerns. So far, 130 people are registered from across Region 6.
Vaughn said Dallas EPA office has hosted several forums but with different focuses. This forum’s theme seems tailor-made for the current resurgence of environmental activism.
“The types of projects that will be talked about show deeply impacted communities that are disproportionately overburdened,” said Vaughn. “It’s an opportunity for people to get an overview of the issues that communities face, hear best practices and get information they can use in the future.”
EPA Region 6 Environmental Justice Forum
About: The forum's stated purpose is to: highlight successful environmental results based on multi-stakeholder collaboration; provide details about results from successful and collaborative engagement between government, industry and communities; foster multi-state participation in the Forum with unique response perspectives from participating states; and provide opportunities to meet and interact with EPA, state and local staff.
When: June 12, 2018; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
June 13, 2018; 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Crowne Plaza Hotel (Bryan Ballroom A)
1015 Elm Street, Dallas, TX 75202