Thursday, November 12, 2015
Representative Harold Mitchell, Jr. is a respected leader with a long record of achievements in affordable housing, environmental justice, community revitalization, and public policy. His work in environmental justice organizing began in 1997 when he started a grassroots movement to clean up and fully remediate the two Superfund sites and four brownfield sites surrounding his family home. Rep. Mitchell founded ReGenesis in 1998 and served as the Executive Director of this non-profit organization until 2012. Rep. Mitchell has served as the District 31 Representative in the SC House since 2005. He introduced and passed the first environmental justice law in South Carolina (2007), which used federal funding to replicate the ReGenesis model for environmental remediation with grassroots community involvement in four additional regions statewide.
Shelley Fudge - Ms. Fudge leads the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Community Engagement Initiative in the Office of Environmental Information/Environmental Analysis Division. During her 24 years of experience with the US EPA, she has worked on a variety of environmental protection issues, including environmental justice, aquatic habitat protection, climate change/energy efficiency, Clean Water Act standards for impaired waters, concentrated animal feeding operations, and underground storage tanks. She has worked for three federal agencies, as well as for the City of Philadelphia, and as an elementary and high school teacher. In addition, she has over 30 years of experience in volunteer community grassroots organizing.
This webinar emphasized key factors that led to the successful collaboration between community residents, industry and government in Spartanburg, SC and what it took to bring various stakeholders together and build necessary bridges to achieve objectives, and lessons learned that could help other communities to build bridges with local industry and local/state/federal government elected officials and agencies to reduce pollution and revitalize their communities. EPA added how TRI Can Assist Community-Driven Revitalization Efforts with an emphasis on the benefits of using TRI data to help communities identify industrial toxic releases, pollution prevention activities, and how to prioritize efforts to reduce pollution, and how TRI can help play a role in environmental collaborative problem solving initiatives like the one in Spartanburg.