The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice co-hosted the 2014 National Training Conference on the Toxics Release Inventory and Environmental Conditions in Communities in Arlington, VA May 7 – 9, 2014. Over three hundred attendees gathered to learn more about the Toxics Release Inventory data tools, how to access the tools and how researchers and communities are using the data. Researchers from several institutions looked at the links between air toxics and academic performance by examining air releases from industrial sources around public schools. Other presentations included a community-driven research assessment of spatial disparities, cumulative burden and impact in the distribution of TRI facilities in communities of color. This was Dillard University's first year co-sponsoring the TRI National Conference with the EPA. This year's conference targeted a diverse audience with more participation from environmental justice communities to ensure vulnerable communities gain the knowledge needed to use TRI data to help impact policy and reduce toxic exposure in their communities.
Moving forward, the EPA and Dillard University DSCEJ would like to continue to increase participation from environmental justice communities, encourage more participation from industry that have reduced their emissions, and also encourage more college student participation to educate and engage the next generation of environmental researchers and advocates.