Training Programs



DAY 2 – Thursday, March 10, 2022

Grand Ballroom Salon E

10:00 a.m.—12 Noon

EJ & NEPA Workshop: Considering Cumulative Effects and EJ in the NEPA Process

The purpose of the workshop is to increase understanding of opportunities to advance consideration of environmental justice (EJ) in the NEPA review process. The specific focus is the importance of meaningful engagement and involvement with EJ communities particularly now during the social distancing pandemic utilizing virtual tools. The goal is to provide information that provides participants with a better understanding of the interconnection between Environmental Justice (EJ) communities, current health, environmental and economic challenges facing our country from the pandemic. The onset of the pandemic has expedited the need for us to examine and implement different strategies or methods for public engagement based on who you want to reach and engage with and then look to make that connection with the healthcare and social service sectors. Two tools of the NEPA Committee of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG), “Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Reviews” (Promising Practices Report) and the “Community Guide to Environmental Justice and NEPA Methods (Community Guide),” a companion document to the Promises Practices Report will be utilized in this session.

The workshop is designed to foster collaboration among the Federal family and the public. Ultimately, the workshop will give participants a better knowledge of what practices Federal agencies use to evaluate environmental impacts to minority and low-income populations and how they can be a more effective advocate for their communities with these agencies as they make decisions as we operated in our “new normal” under the “new NEPA” regulations.

Denise C. Freeman
Co-chair, NEPA Committee, WH EJ Interagency Council
Senior Advisor/Communications Liaison
Office of Legacy Management
U.S. Department of Energy

Jomar Maldonado
Director for NEPA
Council on Environmental Equality
Executive Office of the President

Carolyn L. Nelson, P.E.
Co-chair, NEPA Committee, WH EJ Interagency Council
Sr. Project Development/Environmental Specialist
Office of Project Development and Environmental Review
USDOT-Federal Highway Administration

2:00 –3:00 p.m.

What’s in My Neighborhood? How Communities Can Use EPA’s TRI Toxics Tracker to Identify Industrial Sources of Toxic Chemical Releases and Other Waste Management Activities.

EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program provides a detailed, multimedia dataset covering annual releases and other waste management activities from over 20,000 facilities in the United States for hundreds of different toxic chemicals. EPA makes these data available to the public, which can help inform decision-making by government agencies, community groups, companies, and other stakeholders. This training workshop will provide users with a basic introduction to the TRI Program and what types of data and information are collected by the EPA, as well as a live demonstration of the online TRI Toxics Tracker tool. TRI Toxics Tracker can be used to answer a variety of questions all in one place, such as what toxic chemical releases are occurring in a particular community with EJ concerns and which facilities might be contributing to disproportionate releases potentially affecting nearby residents.

T.J. Pepping
Abt Associates

3:00—4:00 p.m.

Pragmatic Approaches: Reaching Students in Areas with Limited Broadband to Access College Education

Lack of broadband access is a limiting factor to academic advancement of a remarkable number of youths in rural areas in America and worldwide. It has been documented that in rural areas, nearly one-fourth of the population – 14.5 million people lack access to this service. In tribal areas, nearly one-third of the population lacks access. Even in areas where broadband is available, approximately 100 million Americans still do not subscribe (FCC 2022).

Consequently, an outreach was conducted in a rural area (Marion) of South Carolina with ineffective or no access to broadband. Parents and their high schoolers were invited. During this event, we had on board from Allen University, officials from the admission office, financial aid office, the university counsellors, a faculty and one junior student from Allen University.

Application forms were already printed out and handed over to high schoolers during this outreach. Seven high school students completed the application form on the spot. The financial aid officer succeeded in assisting one of these seven students to complete her FAFSA right on the spot using our personal hotspot internet access provided at the outreach site. Application forms were given to the high school students that attended with the promise to share with their friends. It is uber-important for colleges to make concerted efforts in reaching suburbs with limited broadband access. Such that youths in these areas will not be left behind. This workshop intends to shed more light on pragmatic approaches employed to forestall bottlenecks encountered during the outreach.

Oluwole Ariyo, PhD
Principal Investigator, Environmental Justice Institute
Allen University

DAY 3 – Friday, March 11, 2022

Grand Ballroom Salon E

9:30 a.m.—11:00 a.m.

Federal Title VI and Environmental Justice

This session will be a discussion with Federal civil rights offices engaged in Title VI enforcement and compliance work related to environmental and health programs receiving federal financial assistance.

Title VI Committee
Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice

Daria Neal
Deputy Chief, Federal Coordination & Compliance Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice

Lilian Dorka
Director, External Civil Rights and Compliance Office
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Carla Carter
Associate Deputy Director, Civil Rights Division in the Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Amy Vance
Title VI Coordinator, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Yvette Rivera
Associate Director for Equity and Access Division
Departmental Office of Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Transportation

11:30 a.m.—12:45 p.m.

USDA Forest Service Conservation Education Strategy: Advancing Equity and Justice for All

The USDA Forest Service Conservation Education Program is developing a new Conservation Education Strategy to provide clear, agency-wide program direction, unifying how the Forest Service communicates the value and interdependence of Conservation Education while empowering delivery of programs that uplift our communities and partners. We aim to achieve a comprehensive strategy that advances equity and environmental justice for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent inequality. This session will engage participants in innovative thinking around the Forest Service’s new Conservation Education Strategy. We will review the draft strategy and engage in a small group discussions focused on how the FS and partners/communities can effectively collaborate in the advancement of equity and inclusion in Conservation Education programming.

John Crockett
Associate Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry
USDA Forest Service

Tinelle Bustam
National Director
USDA Forest Service Conservation Education

Rachel Bayer
Environmental Education Specialist
USDA Forest Service Conservation Education

Elaine Jackson-Retondo
Program Manager
Regional Preservation Partnership and History
Department of The Interior Park Service

2:30 p.m.—3:30 p.m.

Incorporating Cumulative Risk into Tribal Risk Assessments

Tribal Nations are disproportionately affected by environmental issues, including contamination and climate impacts. Further, Tribes are a uniquely vulnerable population in the US, as Federal agencies have a Trust responsibility to Tribes, stemming from historical treaties, requiring government to government consultation, and the respecting of treaty rights (e.g., the right to hunt/fish/gather in usual and accustomed places). Tribal communities may be at greater risk of exposure to contamination than the general population because of dependence on the environment for sustenance (hunting, gathering, fishing); fixed boundaries of reservations (compounding the effects of shifting biological populations); and confounding equity issues (such as social and health inequities). For these reasons, risk assessments that do not consider the cumulative impacts of both contaminant and non-contaminant stressors will fail to fully characterize health risk to Tribal Nations.

The purpose of this workshop is to share examples, ideas, and considerations for incorporating cumulative risk into Tribal risk assessments. Through the presentation of case studies and facilitated discussions, the goal of this workshop is to provide a broader understanding of Tribal risk assessment and to stimulate discussion and engagement on this topic.

Kaylene Ritter, PhD,
Principal Associate
Abt Associates

Michelle Krasnec, PhD
Senior Scientist
Abt Associates


The National Environmental Justice Conference, Inc., prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. Persons who need special accommodations to fully participate in the conference, workshops, or training programs, and persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the Conference Coordinator at 202-827-2224.

Because of chemical sensitivity of many people, we are requesting that attendees wear unscented toiletry items. Images from this conference may be captured, published and distributed.

Images of NEJC participants may be captured by conference photographers and published or distributed.