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A Collaborative Effort to Assess Environmental Health in Newport News, Virginia
Essoka, J., T. Barzyk, E. Holloman, AND H. Arvanaghi. A Collaborative Effort to Assess Environmental Health in Newport News, Virginia. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-17/270, 2017.
This is an EPA report that describes a community-centric, place-based approach to identifying and delivering service to the area’s residents and the city as a whole.
The Region 3 “Making a Visible Difference in Communities” (MVD) initiative for Southeast Newport News, VA has taken a community-centric, place-based approach to identifying and delivering service to the area’s residents and the city as a whole. Beginning with a CARE (Community Action for a Renewed Environment) Level 1 cooperative agreement (a grant with substantial government involvement and required outputs) in 2011, Region 3 funding helped to establish the Southeast CARE Coalition (“the Coalition”), and quickly formed a bond with the organization. Two years later, Region 3, the US EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) and the Coalition embarked on a scientific, socio-demographic Regional Sustainable Environmental Science (RESES) research project to assess local pollutant sources and their potential impacts to the community. These efforts helped EPA select Newport News as an MVD community, resulting in an expanded partnership that now includes the City of Newport News. Through this association and the MVD designation, the partners have identified and prioritized environmental and other concerns (e.g., improving air and water quality, adapting to extreme weather, promoting equitable development, improving transportation). Newport News has recently held workshops and training on topics such as environmental health, asthma, weather events, and equitable development, and continues to improve the community’s health, its knowledge of the relevant environmental health issues, and its wellbeing.