Meaningful Engagement for Environmental Justice Without Public Meetings

Now Available On-Demand

Educational Credit: 1.5 (APA AICP CM)


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Join us for an update from the EJ IWG’s NEPA Committee, as we explore best practices for engaging the environmental justice community without public meetings.

Meaningful public engagement is more important than ever, from early in the planning stages to the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) review process. It’s also clear that considerations around equity and diversity have intensified dramatically in 2020. In this ‘new normal’ as public engagement moves online for public safety, how can agencies and their consultants meaningfully engage with traditionally underrepresented communities without public meetings?

Our panelists, Elizabeth Poole from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Carolyn Nelson from the Federal Highway Administration, and Denise Freeman from the Department of Energy are all key members of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG) and its NEPA Committee. In this webinar we will get a vital update on Environmental Justice from the experts and explore promising practices for reaching traditionally underrepresented communities. We’ll zero in on challenges like the digital divide and how to engage disadvantaged communities without internet access.

Environmental justice is a vital mandate to reach the most vulnerable and underrepresented people in our communities. Join us as our panel shares thoughts on the rapidly evolving practice of meaningful engagement with EJ communities to carry through the current situation and beyond. The hour long presentation will be followed by a 20 minute Q&A.

In this webinar, we will explore:

How Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and NEPA processes are being impacted today

Best practices for public engagement for planning, EIS, and NEPA scoping

Case study examples of effective online EJ engagement

Alternatives to public meetings for reaching underrepresented groups

Insights from the FHWA’s Virtual Public Involvement toolkit

Average Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Truly, all presenters were fantastic and brought some diverse standpoints in application. MetroQuest continually does a fantastic job conducting engaging, informative webinars.

They were all fantastic, so organized, so informative. The integrated presentations of the three of them worked really well.

Fascinating insights shared. Enjoyed the input of all presenters. Really brought lots of issues to light. Many thanks!

They all did an excellent job in relaying the information. Well done. Thank you for your time and insight on how to ensure that EJ communities and populations are engaged in public projects.

Elizabeth Poole, EPA

Elizabeth Poole

Environmental Protection Agency

Elizabeth Poole has been an environmental scientist with the US EPA – Region 5 office in Chicago for the last ten years. She spends half her time in the NEPA program, reviewing mostly transportation projects, and half her time in environmental justice program, working on interagency coordination and capacity building. She serves on the NEPA Committee of the Interagency Working Group for Environmental Justice. She has a Bachelors from the University of Kentucky in Geology and a Masters from Johns Hopkins University in Environmental Policy.

Carolyn Nelson, FHWA

Carolyn Nelson, PE

Federal Highway Administration

Carolyn Nelson, P.E., is a Civil Engineer who works as a Senior Project Development and Environmental Specialist in the Office of Project Development and Environmental Review. Her responsibilities include providing technical assistance and project oversight regarding NEPA compliance to FHWA Division Offices, federal partners, and State and local agencies. Carolyn is the NEPA lead for Environmental Justice, Title VI, CSS/D, and Public Involvement. Carolyn is a Licensed Professional Engineer and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering.

Denise Freeman, Department of Energy

Denise Freeman

Department of Energy

Denise Freeman has worked for the Department of Energy for nearly 29 years providing assistance, guidance, and training on NEPA and related environmental matters, including EJ. As co-chair of the NEPA Committee of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice she has worked tirelessly to promote the effective and efficient consideration of EJ through the NEPA process. Denise holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from the University of Maryland University College.

Thank you to our webinar sponsors!
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