News

April 13, 2017

DEP Hosting Eco-Justice Listening Posts

Here’s an opportunity to speak up for those most affected by environmental degradation. The state Department of Environmental Protection is hosting a series of environmental justice listening sessions around the Commonwealth.   LAMPa is encouraging advocates to attend and share their stories or accompany and support neighbors suffering from our neglect or abuse of the environment.  You do not have to be a scientist to speak up for justice! Please let us know if you are planning to go.  Contact LAMPa here.

“The Office of Environmental Justice fulfills a critical role within DEP – ensuring that all Pennsylvanians, especially those who have historically been disenfranchised, are fully involved in the decisions that affect their environment,” said Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Environmental justice embodies the principles that communities should not be disproportionally exposed to adverse environmental impacts. With these listening sessions, I want to hear how we can improve on our responsibility.”
The tour will focus on engaging residents and leaders in DEP’s decision-making process, and involving residents in communities that may not fit the traditional definition of an environmental justice area — which is based on minority population and income levels in census tracts.

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE LISTENING TOUR FOCUS AREAS

What environmental justice concerns are most pressing in your community?
Do you feel that the current definition of an environmental justice community (20% poverty and/or 30% minority) properly represents the needs of your community and the Commonwealth at large?
Do you feel the DEP is engaged with marginalized communities to ensure that they have a voice in the decision making process? How can the DEP be more engaged with these communities?
What tools have you used to find out information on DEP permitting/enforcement actions?
What ways can the DEP be more effective at sharing information with the public?
How can the DEP be more effective at receiving public input?
What resource(s) is your community lacking that the DEP can provide that would assist in efforts to ensure environmental equity?
What additional steps can be taken by the Department to effectively reach out to these vulnerable communities to ensure that their concerns are taken into consideration? Learn more about the listening tour and the DEP Office of Environmental Justice. 

SESSION SCHEDULE
April 12, 2017 (Read media coverage of this session.)
Greene County
Margaret Bell Miller Middle School
126 East Lincoln Street
Waynesburg, PA 15370

 

April 13, 2017, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Allegheny County
The Blakey Center
1908 Wyle Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

April 20, 2017, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Lycoming County
The Genetti Hotel & Suites
200 West 4th Street
Williamsport, PA 17701

April 27, 2017, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Erie County
Tom Ridge Environmental Center
301 Peninsula Drive, Room 112
Erie, PA 16505

May 2, 2017, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Dauphin County
Department of Environmental Protection
Southcentral Regional Office
909 Elmerton Avenue, Conference Room
Harrisburg, PA 17110

May 11, 2017 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Lehigh County
Allentown Public Library
Community Room
1210 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18102

May 15, 2017, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Lancaster County
HACC Lancaster Campus
East Building, Room 203
1641 Old Philadelphia Pike
Lancaster, PA  17602

May 23, 2017, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Delaware County
Location: TBD

May 25, 2017, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Philadelphia County
Location: TBD

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