Online Program

Stakeholder and community involvement for site-specific decision-making in EPA's Superfund program

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 4:50 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.

Yolanda Anita Sanchez, MS, MPA, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Site-specific risk assessments (i.e., a population around a Superfund site or Brownfield) are more robust when community stakeholders are involved in the conversation. Community stakeholders can provide important information for characterizing the site, identifying exposure pathways, and developing cleanup solutions. Additionally, experience has shown that greater public involvement leads to a better relationship between the community members and the Agency, including a better understanding of the stakeholders' perception of risk which leads to an enhanced ability to alert communities to ways to protect themselves against hazards. Open and transparent dialogue reduces unwarranted tension between communities and government agencies leading to greater input from citizens in government decision-making. The resulting cooperation amongst all stakeholders increases the credibility of the entire endeavor, the accuracy of the risk assessment and the remedy decision. This presentation will discuss the processes for Superfund human health risk assessment and remedy selection, identify decision points in the process for public participation, and give examples of success.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe how community stakeholders provide important information for more relevant and reliable site cleanup decisions.

Keyword(s): Community Involvement, Community Participation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For the past four years I have worked for the U.S. EPA's Superfund program in the Community Involvement and Program Initiatives Branch. I am an environmental health scientist, and I have focused on risk communication and public involvement in the risk assessment process.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.