Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | May 24, 2010

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says EPA launches new program to involve public in waste cleanups in their communities. Sanders says CSXT’s cleanup of arsenic in Winchester would be a good site for Kentuckians to participate.

EPA launched an initiative to help communities more effectively participate in government decisions related to land cleanup, emergency preparedness and response, and the management of hazardous substances and waste. The Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) plan lays out specific steps EPA is taking to provide communities with better information and opportunities to understand and influence decisions on environmental cleanups. The purpose of the plan is to present guiding principles, goals and actions to enhance EPA’s relationships with communities from across the country while protecting human health and the environment.

 Because many of EPA’s programs are delegated to states, EPA will seek a cooperative effort with state and local governments to better coordinate resources and efforts on this initiative. The plan includes activities that will help EPA:

  • Improve transparency and upfront collaboration with community stakeholders;
  • Enhance technical assistance to communities;
  • Explain the hazards of environmental problems to affected communities; and
  • Connect with communities that have been historically underrepresented in environmental decision-making

Through the initiative, EPA will help interested community members more effectively participate in EPA decision-making processes.  The plan is intended to be a working document and specific actions will be refined with ongoing feedback from communities and other stakeholders.

EPA invites public comment on the plan, will frequently evaluate the initiative’s progress and results, and will regularly post this information on the agency’s Web site.More information on the CEI and to comment on the plan: http://www.epa.gov/oswer/engagementinitiative

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