Science Inventory

ENVIRONMENTAL RISK AND IMPACT IN COMMUNITIES OF COLOR AND ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES

Impact/Purpose:

Project objectives are to: 1) assess environmental exposures in communities of color and/or economically/educationally disadvantaged communities, 2) develop the research infrastructure of the NCCU Environmental Science Program, and 3) develop improved tools for conducting community-based exposure research in environmental justice communities.

Description:

Research has shown that communities of color and economically/educationally disadvantaged communities are at a greater risk of impact from environmental hazards. In many past studies in environmental justice (EJ) communities, scientists have used surrogate measures of exposure because of the lack of data on actual exposures. In 2001, North Carolina Central University (NCCU) received Congressional funding for a research and training initiative to (1) assess environmental exposures in a community impacted by environmental hazards and (2) develop the research infrastructure of the NCCU Environmental Science Program. This work is being conducted under a cooperative agreement between NCCU and EPA. The long-range goal of this project is to develop community-level tools than can be adapted for use in other communities to collect data that can be used to better understand environmental exposures and their impacts. A systematic approach was developed and applied to select potential local communities for the exposure study. Two communities were selected for study under this project. The first exposure study is being conducted in Durham, NC. Meetings were held with the community to identify and prioritize environmental issues of concern. The environmental issue of concern in the Durham community is exposure to contaminants from auto salvage shops/junkyards. A technical approach to assess the environmental hazards involves site screening at eight junkyards, followed by a more comprehensive site assessment at those sites identified to be of greatest concern based on screening measurements and modeling results. The site screening involves collection of soil and water samples in the vicinity of the junkyards and analyses of the samples for selected metals and organic chemicals that are known to be associated with auto salvage activities. The second community to be studied will be in Moncure, NC. Air quality is a concern in this community due to the location of a number of manufacturing facilities in the area. Work on the Durham study will continue during 2006. The Moncure study will be performed in 2006 and 2007. During this period, work will continue to strengthen the facilities and capabilities of the Environmental Science Program. Work under this project will provide new expertise, facilities, and capabilities in environmental sciences that can be applied to problems in EJ communities. The tools that are developed by NCCU under this project will be disseminated to the scientific community for use in other EJ communities.

Record Details:

Record Type: PROJECT
Start Date: 08/01/2001
Projected Completion Date: 09/01/2007
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 56219

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

HUMAN EXPOSURE AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES DIVISION

EXPOSURE MEASUREMENTS & ANALYSIS BRANCH