2002 Progress Report: Technical Outreach Services for Communities

EPA Grant Number: R828770C001
Subproject: this is subproject number 001 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R828770
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (2001) - Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center
Center Director: Banks, M. Katherine
Title: Technical Outreach Services for Communities
Investigators: Banks, M. Katherine
Institution: Kansas State University , Michigan State University , Purdue University - Main Campus
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2006
Project Period Covered by this Report: October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2002
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management


The objective of this research project is to provide nonbiased technical assistance to communities, government agencies, and individuals affected by hazardous substances on Brownfields, former defense sites, and tribal lands. The institutions involved in providing this assistance are the: (1) Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center (MHSRC) outreach program; (2) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); and (3) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System (CERCLIS).

Progress Summary:

Outreach personnel at Kansas State University (KSU), Michigan State University (MSU), Purdue University, and Sheldon Selwyn Haskell Indian Nations University have implemented three programs: (1) Technical Outreach Services for Communities (TOSC); (2) Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities (TAB); and (3) Technical Outreach Services for Native American Communities (TOSNAC). Despite significantly lower budgets than in past years, the outreach program has continued to provide a high level of technical support to communities and government agencies. The MHSRC outreach program consists of personnel from the two HSRC Phase I centers that cover Midwestern states. These two centers: the Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Regional Center and the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic Center, have continued to be leaders in the outreach arena through their participation in the MHSRC. Because of the vast geographic area covered by the MHSRC (10 states covering 673,917 square miles), having outreach personnel located at strategic locations throughout the region has increased the reach and efficiency of the program. Most communities are within driving distance of one of the four outreach offices located in East Lansing, MI; Manhattan and Lawrence, KS; and West Lafayette, IN. This allows personnel to share resources and optimize support provided to recipients of outreach services.

The outreach program provided assistance to 37 communities during the past year. An overview of the outreach projects by Region is as follows:

Region 4-TAB: Augusta, GA; Hyde Park-Aragon Park Association. On August 22, 2002, Ms. LaBarbara Wigfall (KSU) gave a presentation to community members and the Brownfields Steering Committee on the redevelopment visioning process, in partnership with the south/southwest (S/SW) TOSC program. This was the second in a series of three to four workshops, where the TOSC walks the community through a series of meetings that result in graphic representations (drawings) of how the community would like their redevelopment project to look once it is completed. Ms. Wigfall also met separately with the S/SW TOSC team to build their capacity to provide this service to other communities. This project is expected to be complete in October 2003.

Region 5-TOSC: Ashland, WI. During the reporting period, Mr. Kirk Riley (MSU) discussed TOSC's continued involvement in the Ashland Lakefront Site with key stakeholders and agency personnel. The parties recommended that TOSC provide guidance on the Feasibility Study, scheduled for release in March 2003. The parties involved applied for and were granted a no-cost extension by the EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO). The TOSC continued its assistance to an array of stakeholder groups concerning a former manufactured gas plant site in northern Wisconsin. The plant discharged large amounts of tars and volatile compounds to area soils and groundwater, which subsequently were carried to sediments in Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay. The site has significant free product PAHs in the groundwater, and more than 10 acres of PAH-contaminated sediments in the Bay. Community groups involved in the site included the Ashland/Bayfield League of Women Voters, environmental advocacy organizations, and two Lake Superior Chippewa Native American Tribes. During the reporting period, the TOSC reviewed two competing ecological risk assessments for the contaminated sediments, one conducted for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the other for the responsible party, Northern States Power. Dr. Christopher Marwood, a postdoctoral research fellow at Miami University, Oxford, OH, conducted the review. Previously, TOSC assistance to Ashland citizens included separate workshops on site characterization, human health risk assessment, and ecological risk assessment. The TOSC reviewed the site investigation and human health risk assessment documents. The TOSC has been asked to assist in interpreting the Feasibility Study, which is scheduled for release in March 2003. Dr. Thomas Voice, Professor of Environmental Engineering at MSU, and Dr. Jan Stevenson, Professor of Zoology at MSU, are the leaders of the Ashland TOSC project team. Dr. Karen Chou, Professor of Toxicology at MSU, led the human health risk assessment phase. TOSC Project Specialist Michael Long, and TOSC Program Manager Kirk Riley, provided support.

Region 5-TOSC: State of Michigan; Biomonitoring Project. This project assists the State of Michigan, Department of Community Health, Division of Environmental Epidemiology, in developing a public outreach plan concerning proposed biomonitoring of humans for environmental chemical exposures.

Region 5-TOSC: Oregon, OH; Envirosafe. TOSC staff members Dr. Shu-Guang Li, Dr. Milind Khire, Kirk Riley, and Alice Diebel met with community members on July 11, 2002, and voiced strong support for the TOSC's involvement. A TOSC Project Plan was presented in October 2002. Envirosafe Services of Ohio, Inc. (ESOI) owns and operates a hazardous waste landfill in southwest Oregon, OH, near Lake Erie, 10 miles from the City of Toledo. The facility operates under a RCRA permit from both the State of Ohio and the EPA. ESOI is permitted to accept hazardous waste for treatment, storage, and disposal. Because of concern about possible releases from past practice units into the environment, ESOI currently is conducting an investigation; a "corrective action" required under the facility's RCRA permit. Oregon-area citizens contacted the TOSC because of long-standing concerns that the facility has caused soil and groundwater contamination, and because of delays in beginning the remedial facilities investigation under the corrective action. ESOI has provoked citizen concern for years. The TOSC met with citizens in March and July of 2002. In October, the TOSC and community members agreed to a set of services to be provided by the TOSC under an outreach plan. The ESOI facility is in phase 1 of the corrective action, which includes soil borings, installation of monitoring wells, and sampling of surface water and sediments. The bulk of the TOSC's work focuses on the use of the interactive ground water (IGW) modeling software, which was developed by Dr. Li to assist citizens in interpreting the ESOI data. The TOSC also will provide workshops on the basics of site characterization (methods, field work, and laboratory work). The full phase 1 report is scheduled for release in March 2003, and the TOSC will help interpret that report and present more data to put into the program.

Region 5-TOSC: Gary, IN; Grand Calumet River. The MSU TOSC office was awarded a supplemental grant for outreach concerning the dredging of the Grand Calumet River. Project collaborators included Indiana University at Bloomington and the Grand Calumet Task Force. The TOSC met with citizen groups and presented a draft workplan in November 2002.

Region 5-TOSC: Danville, IN; H and L Landfill. Residents near the Danville City Dump are concerned about contamination on property adjacent to the landfill. Residents approached the TOSC to request assistance. Discussions about the TOSC's role are ongoing.

Region 5-TOSC: Fortville, IN; Meridian Road Landfill. The TOSC delivered final comments to Meridian United Citizens and Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) concerning the former landfill. Dr. Mike Dybas served as project director.

Region 5-TOSC: Montague, MI; Occidental Chemical Corporation. The TOSC Project was completed upon agreement with the White Lake Advisory Council. The TOSC provided guidance on remedy selection at the RCRA Corrective Action facility. Dr. Dybas served as Project Director.

Region 5-TOSC: Akron, OH; Sam Winer Motors. The TOSC provided guidance to the community concerning the formation of a citizens advisory group (CAG) and the interpretation of a health consultation conducted by Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Plans involved a meeting with the Ohio EPA and the federal EPA in the fall of 2002. Dr. Susan Masten served as project director. The Sam Winer Motors Site consists of various parcels that were used as a truck stop and gas station in Summit County, southeast of Akron, OH. The site also included a salvage yard for retired military equipment, and housed a number of underground storage tanks. Soil sampling has shown the presence of volatiles, particularly benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) compounds, and semi-volatile compounds. Groundwater sampling showed high levels of volatiles, including vinyl chloride, methylene chloride, and BTEX compounds. The site is under investigation by the EPA, which is carrying out work under an Emergency Response and the Ohio EPA, which has primary jurisdiction over the Sam Winer Site. Akron-area citizens requested TOSC assistance because of persistent health complaints that they believe are linked to the contamination, and because of frustration over the slow pace of clean-up activities. The TOSC has been working primarily with an Akron-area citizens' group called the Concerned Citizens Against Illegal Contamination (CCAIC). The TOSC's work during the past year included a review of the Integrated Assessment (IA), conducted by the Ohio EPA under a Cooperative Agreement with the federal EPA. In December 2001, the TOSC presented the findings of the review of the IA and other site documents to CCAIC at a public meeting attended by more than 70 community residents. The TOSC Project Leader is Dr. Masten, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at MSU, with project support provided by TOSC Project Specialists, Shawn McElmurry and Atiq Syed, and TOSC Project Manager, Kirk Riley.

Region 5-TOSC: Tremont, OH. EPA Region 5 has asked the TOSC to consider supporting CF Water CAG as part of a technical assistance plan.

Region 5-TOSC: Lockport, IL; Former Texaco Refinery Site (RCRA Site-Supported With TOSC Funds). Mr. Jordan Radin (Purdue) helped the Citizens Against Ruining the Environment (CARE) group develop oral and written comments in preparation for a public hearing on July 16, 2002. Mr. Radin attended the meeting and supported the citizens as they presented public testimony and written comments on the permit, and a post closure CARE plan for a new Corrective Action Waste Management Unit at a closed Texaco refinery. The citizens mainly are concerned about the degree to which issues voiced previously are being addressed. Mr. Radin provided written review comments to help the citizens formulate their final written comments, which were submitted to the Illinois EPA on August 15, 2002. Mr. Peter Kulakow (KSU) will continue to work with Mr. Radin.

Region 5-TAB: Gary, IN. Ms. Carol Brown met with the City of Gary, Department of Environmental Affairs, and will be conducting a phytoremediation workshop/seminar in accordance with the city's Job Training Grant program. Mr. Blase Leven and/or Mr. Kulakow will be assisting with the workshop. The center will be developing a demonstration pilot project to incorporate Brownfields redevelopment, phytoremediation, and habit restoration in a community. A meeting with the congressional representative for the district is to be scheduled.

Region 5-TAB: Milwaukee, WI. Ms. Brown will be putting on a phytoremediation presentation for the Milwaukee Community Service Corporation in the beginning of 2003. The presentation is in response to the request of additional information on phytoremediation.

Region 5-TAB: Communities With Populations Between 50,000 and 150,000. Ms. Brown sent out a letter of introduction and an informational brochure to all EPA Region 5 communities with a population of 50,000 to 150,000. The Center has received calls from several communities requesting additional information.

Region 5-TAB: University of Illinois-Urbana Cooperative Extension. Ms. Brown visited the University of Illinois-Urbana, to meet with the Directors of their Cooperative Extension Program. She spoke with Associate Dean, Dr. Van Es, who agreed to distribute information about the MHSRC programs to the University's Community Development Specialists.

Region 5-TAB: South Suburban Chicago Mayors and Managers Association. Ms. Brown attended the South Suburban Chicago Mayors and Managers Association (SSCMMA) Brownfields Coalition Task Force Meeting and is a member of the Economic Development Advisory Board. She assisted the SSCMMA Brownfields Coalition in developing and putting on a Brownfields Prevention Training Series for local inspectors, which took place on October 10, 2002.

Region 5-TAB: Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Ms. Brown put on an informative presentation for the IDEM staff and agreed to sit on their Brownfields Task Force Advisory Board.

Region 5-TAB: International Economic Development Association. Ms. Brown attended the International Economic Development Associations Brownfields Redevelopment Conference in Indianapolis.

Region 5-TAB: National Wildlife Habitat Council's Restoring Greenspace Conference. Ms. Brown attended the National Wildlife Habitat Council's Restoring Greenspace Conference in Washington, DC, and participated in a poster presentation.

Region 7-TOSC: Clinton, IA; Former Coal Gas Plant. Mr. Kulakow spoke via telephone with the EPA and the CAG, prior to two meetings in late August, to stay abreast of regulatory actions and citizen concerns as the EPA works with potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to get an acceptable draft of an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA). The EPA originally sent the EE/CA back for revision because the CAG comments were not addressed. The revised EE/CA has shortcomings, and the EPA will either require another rewrite, or they will open a public comment period that includes minimum EPA revision requirements. An announcement regarding this matter is expected in the near future.

Region 7-TOSC: Sugar Creek, MO; Former AMOCO Refinery. Ms. Terrie Boguski attended a redevelopment committee meeting hosted by the responsible party in August, and Mr. Kulakow joined her in meetings hosted by the EPA and the City of Sugar Creek in September. Ms. Boguski also corresponded weekly with several stakeholders. This is a continuation of previous TOSC efforts taking place for more than 2 years. Ms. Boguski and Mr. Kulakow are reviewing Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) documents, and will summarize them in fact sheets and presentations, depending on what the EPA-lead discussion group and the CLEANUP group requests. From 1904 to 1982, the Amoco Oil Company (now BP) operated a petroleum refinery in Sugar Creek, MS, along the southern bank of the Missouri River, east of Kansas City. In 1981, refinery officials found contamination after monitoring groundwater and soil. During the past 4 years, the community has been polarized by the way concerns about health, property values, and clean-up issues have been addressed. CLEANUP, a local environmental activist group comprised of local residents, helped organize a lawsuit and numerous protests, and gained media attention from their efforts. However, local government officials and other local citizens generally were satisfied with efforts at the former refinery. At the request of the EPA, the state, and other government agencies, the City began hosting public meetings, in which all stakeholder groups could participate, including CLEANUP and BP. The TOSC was asked to serve as a technical resource and began writing articles for the group's newsletter about technical topics of interest. However, the city sometimes would not publish the TOSC articles because of behind-the-scenes input from BP. Therefore, the EPA decided to host an additional series of public meetings to ensure a more neutral setting that was not subject to bias by individual stakeholders. The TOSC continues to participate and support both series of meetings. Over the years, the TOSC slowly established working relationships with all of the stakeholders, and now meets with, and assists them individually and in groups. Progress has been slow, but all parties are beginning to share information and work together (with turbulence) on technical matters.

Region 7-TOSC: Perkins County, NE; J-Bar-J Landfill. Citizens who either own land, or live in the area of a landfill accepting treated soils from the former Black Hills Army Depot, SD, are concerned that the wastes are not completely treated and/or characterized, that the landfill liner was torn and not repaired before wastes were received, and that design and monitoring generally are not adequate. In September 2002, Ms. Boguski and Mr. Leven performed a final summary of TOSC's reviews and interactions with regulators on specific concerns raised by citizens. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will address these concerns with the citizens and the landfill operator.

Region 7-TOSC: Olath, KS; CCI Superfund Site. Ms. Boguski has maintained regular contact and has attended quarterly CAG meetings for the Chemical Commodities, Inc., National Priorities List (NPL) Site. The most recent meeting was on September 23, 2002. She has participated in discussions between the City of Olathe and the EPA to address citizen concerns about: (1) impacted soil that abuts an unsightly building at the site; and (2) how the contaminated groundwater plume may affect the health of residents and the value of their homes. EPA is working on a plan for a more timely removal of stockpiled soils and buildings. More indoor air monitoring is being completed and results will be available at the December meeting. The risk assessment report also will be available for discussion. Ms. Boguski expects to preview the risk assessment report and present comments or a summary to the CAG.

Region 7-TOSC: Ava, MO; Former Wood Treatment Superfund Site. KSU has had several discussions via telephone about the possibility of providing support to a local college faculty person and a student who already is assisting CAG members dealing with issues at a former wood treatment facility and a dry cleaning facility.

Region 7-TAB: Kansas City, KS; Kansas City Brownfield Initiatives: Associated Youth Services. The TOSC is working with the Associated Youth Services (AYS) Director in Kansas City to provide information to the Oakgrove Community Group about environmental conditions and redevelopment options at the closed Sanitary Landfill in Kansas City (John Garland Park Landfill). Ms. Wigfall, along with two students, will perform a redevelopment visioning workshop on October 18 (with City/County officials) and 19 (with both citizens and city officials). Ms. Wendy Griswold has been in contact with city and community representatives two to three times a week in September 2002, and is coordinating the promotion and organization of these events. TAB personnel met with community members three times in August, and conducted a telephone conference with Unified Government staff and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Site Manager. Ms. Boguski and Mr. Kulakow visited the site to evaluate technical possibilities and limitations for redevelopment, given conditions at the former landfill. The community group is leveraging funds received from an environmental justice grant with TOSC funds for the project.

Region 7-TAB: Brownfields 2002 Conference. Two abstracts submitted from the TOSC at KSU were accepted for presentation at the Brownfields 2002 Conference. Mr. Leven and Mr. Kulakow presented a panel session on phytoremediation applications. Ms. Wigfall, along with a community member, presented a panel session on community involvement, highlighting her work with the Oakgrove Community Group in Kansas City, KS.

Region 7-TAB: Kansas City, KS; Kansas City Brownfields Initiatives: DOTTES/Central Avenue Betterment Association. DOTTES is a group of community program and service providers located in Wyandotte County, KS. The objective of the group is to improve the lives of area residents by fostering cooperation among the different neighborhood programs and groups. Potential Brownfield/environmental issues include abandoned gas stations and healthy homes (asbestos/lead from older housing stock). The TOSC has provided the group with an overview of environmental policies that affect citizens, and may explore the possibility of developing a presentation for community leaders on the role of communities in environmental issues and policy making. The TOSC also is exploring proposal opportunities for center sustainability efforts. TAB representatives are working with the Oak Grove Neighborhood Group in Kansas City, KS. This group is working to return a closed park and former landfill to productive community use. The TAB program has worked to ensure that a variety of stakeholders are involved in the process, including area residents, elected city and state officials, city government representatives, area non-profit organizations, and the EPA. Activities have focused on educating the community regarding health and safety issues at the site and soliciting community input and involvement in the redevelopment process. In October 2002, TAB staff worked with the community group and other stakeholders to coordinate a Visioning Session for John Garland Park. With assistance from students of KSU, the participants discussed their ideas for what amenities and educational services a park in the Oak Grove neighborhood should provide. Students and faculty from KSU's Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning Department will use the ideas solicited during this event to design possible plans for the redevelopment of the park. Subsequent meetings with the Oak Grove Neighborhood Group and the community as a whole will be held to continue shaping the final designs.

Region 7-TAB: Springfield, MO. TAB continues to provide information on issues of concern to the City of Springfield Brownfields Manager, Vern Morgan. TAB provided advice regarding difficulties the city is experiencing in getting their Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) and their contract approved by the EPA for environmental assessment work. TAB also provided a number of recommendations regarding sampling activities being conducted in the vicinity of a former coal-gas plant. Mr. Morgan frequently asks the TOSC to attend meetings or to answer specific questions. Springfield was awarded a 2002 Phoenix Award, and the TOSC is listed as a partner in the Springfield Brownfields effort.

Region 7-TAB: Des Moines, IA. Ms. Griswold and Ms. Burgoon submitted a compilation of information from other successful showcase pilots summarizing partner relationships to Ms. Ellen Walkowiak, the Brownfields Manager for Des Moines. This information will be distributed to all EPA Region 7 Brownfields Pilots and Showcase Pilots that provided information and placed on the TOSC Web Site. The objective is to help other Brownfields Pilots develop partner relationships that will promote Brownfields redevelopment in their communities. The TOSC also may assist the Des Moines Pilot with organizing a lenders workshop in the spring. The purpose of the workshop is to obtain input from area lenders, insurers, and environmental consultants to help develop an effective Brownfields revolving loan fund policy for adoption by the city.

Region 7-TAB: Outreach to Rural Communities. Ms. Boguski's Brownfields legislation article was published in Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas magazines during this reporting period. A second article was published in the Iowa League of Cities, a case study on the Coralville, IA Pilot. She will try to publish similar Brownfields case studies in the Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri League of Municipalities magazines, as time permits. As a result of the Kansas article, the Planning Director for Riley County contacted Mr. Leven and received information on assessment and cleanup grant opportunities recently posted to the EPA Region 7 Web Site. Sherry Timmins, Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED), and Susan Klein, EPA Region 7, have communicated with Ms. Boguski to discuss plans for workshops for small communities in spring 2003, as well as a CD tool kit. The target date for the workshop is spring 2003.

TOSNAC: Kotzebue, AK; Maniilaq Tribal Association, Red Dog Mine. Ms. Brandon provided training at a multi-organization risk conference in Anchorage, AK, which also addressed next steps in helping subsistence-based tribal groups deal with health risks related to copper and zinc mining at the Red Dog Mine. Ms. Brandon has been asked to provide introductory training for citizens on health risk and the environmental justice process. She also has been asked to provide more targeted training concerning cultural risk management strategies related to specific mining contaminant issues.

TOSNAC: Range, MT; Fort Belknap Bombing. Bombing at a relatively new bombing range may pose risks to cultural resources (in food gathering areas) and gas wells in the area. Differing views on these and other issues exist among five tribes, including one that has citizens in Canada and has contributed to high levels of friction among tribes, the state, and the federal government. Ms. Brandon has been asked to help draft an "information paper" for Air Force consideration that outlines the tribal cultural, safety, and environmental justice concerns, which could provide benefits for all stakeholders.

TOSNAC: Clearlake, CA; Elem Nation, Sulfur Bank Mercury Mine. TOSNAC is continuing phone contact with Tribal representatives and EPA Region 9, to coordinate community outreach with Western Region HSRC. We have made progress on developing community training, with focus on Superfund process, environmental justice, and cultural risk assessment planned for January 2003, with focus on mercury and arsenic contaminate issues. TOSNAC has continued coordinating with Tribal representatives and EPA Region 9 in the development of a community involvement plan. Michael Fernandez, of the Western Region TOSC, is providing technical document review, and assisting with training development. Tribal land and tribal members are located on or around mine tailings associated with the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine, which is situated on the perimeter of a geothermal lake. Acidic conditions and high mercury levels from mining areas have impacted fishery resources, wetlands, and associated wildlife habitats. The Tribal EPA (consisting of one person) is working with the Federal EPA and others to restore safe living, fishing, and gathering areas for this subsistence-based community, or at least to mitigate some very serious health and safety risks. The Army Corps of Engineers is the federal cleanup agency and emergency response and reclamation activities have been unsatisfactory to the tribe and neighboring communities, and in some respects have exacerbated conditions. At the request of the Tribal and Federal EPA, TOSNAC has coordinated community outreach activities with the Western Region HSRC and EPA Region 9 Tribal Coordinator. Other experts on cultural risk are involved and TOSNAC is working to help the Tribe articulate input that normally is outside of conventional risk assessment and environmental decision-making, but that is of critical importance to tribe communities. TOSNAC has reviewed a draft RI/FS, and a Geologic Material Sampling Plan to provide input on cultural risk considerations; mostly concerning protected wetlands and archeological sites. This type of input takes special expertise and requires a unique trust relationship with the tribe, a relationship that TOSNAC has been able to establish and maintain.

TOSNAC: Pyramid Lake Paiute, Nevada Mine Watch Group. TOSNAC is continuing to coordinate with Pyramid Lake Tribal EPA to address ground and surface water impacted by metals, including arsenic. TOSNAC also is continuing to assist the Tribe with the preparation of inventory of impacted, culturally significant species, and a community involvement plan.

TOSNAC: Pine Ridge, SD; Oglala Lakota Sioux, Badlands Bombing Range. TOSNAC is coordinating with Oglala Lakota Sioux Badlands Bombing Range Restoration Office in response to request for community presentation, planned for May 2003. The Tribe requested information on how unexploded ordnance (UXO) detection equipment works. They want to know how to measure and evaluate possible impacts by residual chemicals remaining after UXO is removed. Ms. Brandon and Ms. Boguski attended a UXO Workshop hosted by EPA Region 7. For the past several years, they have been on call for technical review of site investigation studies and attendance at semi-annual Restoration Advisory Board meetings.

TOSNAC: Parker, AZ; Colorado River Indian Reservation. TOSNAC has met with EPA Region 9. TOSNAC, and the Western Region TOSC program, has considered offering to host an air quality meeting at a nearby reservation to benefit tribal citizens, leaders, and agencies; however, local political dynamics currently do not support this effort. Ms. Brandon recently was contacted by the Tribal Council and the EPA and was requested to help. She is attempting to locate the proper expertise and partners to host such an event. For the past 6 months, TOSNAC has had phone meetings with a tribal grassroots organization concerned about an expanding operation of hazardous waste burning, and an activated charcoal regeneration facility on their reservation. Although this facility provides an important revenue source for the tribes, and an important disposal and treatment service for the area, citizens are concerned that it operates under less stringent environmental standards, which poses risks to the tribe and the overall environment in the Colorado River Watershed. To complicate matters, the operator of the facility is an EPA contractor, and citizens within and outside of the reservation have opposing views and concerns about this facility. After assessing the situation, TOSNAC and the Western Region TOSC program suggested that an air quality workshop might be appropriate, showcasing successful permitting and operating practices used by other tribes so that tribal leaders and other stakeholders could learn about environmentally acceptable operating and permitting practices. Such an event would be hosted and taught to a large degree by a neighboring, neutral tribe. Earlier in the year, the Parker Tribe was not receptive to this idea, as the political situation was complicated. Over the course of several more months, TOSNAC maintained contact with concerned tribal members, and met with EPA Region 9 and other federal and state agencies at their request. Recently, Ms. Brandon was contacted by the Tribal EPA and the Tribal Council and asked to coordinate the workshop she originally proposed. The idea eventually won the support of tribal leaders, once they sorted through the emotional and political issues, and gained insight into benefits of TOSNAC services.

TOSNAC: Brownfields 2002 Conference. Ms. Brandon designed a presentation on tribal involvement in Brownfields redevelopment. Frank Wolfe, a student at Sheldon Selwyn Haskell Indian Nations University, is receiving support to help with the TOSNAC program, and will give the presentation during a panel discussion session concerning strategies to address environmental justice issues at the community level at a Brownfields site.

Future Activities:

Region 5-TAB. Future activities for Region 5-TAB are to: (1) develop multimedia publication tools that are readily available to communities, and cost efficient; (2) produce a Brownfields redevelopment video, CD, publication, etc., collection series spotlighting alternative remediation techniques that could be used on contaminated sites; (3) establish a resource angled partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Cooperative Extension Institutions in EPA Region 5 states; (4) identify and meet with all Agricultural Cooperative Extension Institutions in EPA Region 5, and have them distribute HSRC literature to their Community Development Specialists and their service area; (5) look for additional funding source opportunities in EPA Region 5 communities we are servicing; (6) work with the communities (i.e., City of Gary, IN) on developing a demonstration pilot project, and have the communities write the HSRCs into their grant proposals; (7) sell communities on the center's availability to produce information factsheets, brochures, etc., tailored to the needs of communities and the tasks they are trying to accomplish; (8) increase the TAB EPA Region 5 community service network in the area of rural Brownfields communities and former drug laboratories; and (9) visit more communities in all EPA Region 5 states, and work on developing new policies in relation to newly defined Brownfields sites (i.e., rural Brownfields, former drug laboratories, etc.)

Region 5 TOSC. Future activities for Region 5-TOSC are to: (1) provide TOSC services to EPA Region 5 communities; (2) provide educational and document review services to communities with state- or federal-lead CERCLIS sites; (3) provide outreach services to communities with RCRA Corrective Action projects (limited number without supplemental funding); (4) provide outreach services to communities with contaminated sediment remediation projects (under separate grant; Grand Calumet River Project, Gary IN; Ashland Lakefront Project, Ashland, WI); (5) provide outreach services to Michigan communities under a separate grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; (6) establish/strengthen working relationships with EPA Region 5 programs, both within and outside the Superfund and RCRA areas; (7) develop a presentation for program managers, emphasizing TOSC successes and opportunities for cross-media assistance; (8) continue to collaborate with EPA Region 5 Superfund and RCRA offices through meetings, seeking particularly to include EPA Remedial Project Managers in meetings; and (9) continue seeking cross-media funding.

Region 5-TAB. Future activities for Region 7-TAB are to: (1) continue support to the four TAB communities in Region 7 currently receiving support; (2) support tribal communities, in collaboration with TOSNAC, as needed; (3) provide outreach to multiple rural and other types of Brownfields communities; (4) continue to publish articles about new Brownfields legislation and grant opportunities, and one or more workshops for small communities, with accompanying CDs with useful references for citizens and municipal staff; and (5) engage Agricultural Extension Service resources that may help provide technical assistance services in rural areas.

Region 7-TOSC. Future activities for Region 7-TOSC are to: (1) continue work with four of the six communities currently receiving TOSC support, per attached MHSRC 4th quarter report; (2) continue work at the Lockport, IL, site in collaboration with Mr. Radin; (3) continue support to Sugar Creek, MO, as a funded RCRA community outreach pilot; and (4) continue to support tribal communities, in collaboration with TOSNAC, as needed.

Support to Other Outreach Programs in Region 7. Future activities include: (1) special expertise needed by the TOSNAC program (see TOSNAC Report); (2) redevelopment visioning support to Superfund and tribal communities; and (3) workshop for rural communities applying for grants and leveraging other resources.

TOSNAC. Future activities are to: (1) continue working to meet existing and anticipated needs spelled out in the 4th quarter report; (2) engage Tribal and Federal Facility Program Representatives in all EPA Regional Offices; (3) attempt to identify additional opportunities to serve tribal communities dealing with federal facility issues, and coordinate referrals/introduction to regional TOSC programs; (4) identify and utilize toxicology, air quality, social sciences, and hydrogeology experts to support community involvement work at Tribal sites; (5) create a 2 to 5 day environmental justice train-the-trainer course; and (6) compile presentation modules and display materials into a train-the-trainer course for tribal, federal, and state officials, as well as tribal citizens. The objective of the training is to make people aware of how to resolve environmental justice situations in ways that accommodate cultural beliefs and practices.

Supplemental Keywords:

technical assistance, community support, hazardous waste contamination, health, waste, ecology, ecosystem, hazardous, health risk assessment, contaminant dynamics, contaminant transport, human exposure, outreach material, technical outreach, mine waste, mine tailing, tribe, toxic., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Health, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Risk Assessments, Hazardous Waste, decision-making, Ecology and Ecosystems, Hazardous, Social Science, Economics & Decision Making, outreach material, contaminant transport, contaminant dynamics, community involvement, community response to hazardous waste facility siting, decision making, environmental decision making, community based environmental planning, human exposure, community participation, technical assistance, technology transfer, human health risk, technical outreach, community support

Relevant Websites:

http://www.egr.msu.edu/~lishug/ Exit
http://www.egr.msu.edu/~lishug/research/igw/index.htm Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R828770    HSRC (2001) - Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R828770C001 Technical Outreach Services for Communities
    R828770C002 Technical Outreach Services for Native American Communities
    R828770C003 Sustainable Remediation
    R828770C004 Incorporating Natural Attenuation Into Design and Management Strategies For Contaminated Sites
    R828770C005 Metals Removal by Constructed Wetlands
    R828770C006 Adaptation of Subsurface Microbial Biofilm Communities in Response to Chemical Stressors
    R828770C007 Dewatering, Remediation, and Evaluation of Dredged Sediments
    R828770C008 Interaction of Various Plant Species with Microbial PCB-Degraders in Contaminated Soils
    R828770C009 Microbial Indicators of Bioremediation Potential and Success