Using the Toxics Release Inventory to Better Understand Risks of Industrial Pollution

Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Time: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm central

When analyzing the impacts of toxic releases on public health, it's critical to identify the extent to which communities are exposed to toxic releases. The Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and EPA's TRI Program hosted this free webinar.

Click on the webinar recording to learn more about research being conducted by Drew University as part of the TRI University Challenge, and what this research means for communities, researchers, students, and industry. Presenters discussed identifying ways to apply TRI data to research on environmental health, environmental justice, and disaster response.

Below are links to additional webinar resources:

Webinar Video


Webinar Presentations (pdf)

TRI University Challenge - Caitlin Briere - EPA Environmental Analysis Division

Using the EPA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) to Better Understand Place-Based Risks of Industrial Pollution - Lisa Jordan - Director, Drew University Spatial Data Center

Assessing Air Pollution & Environmental Justice In New Jersey - Theresa Campbell - Junior Student Drew University

Linking FEMA Records on Hurricane Sandy to the EPA TRI: County Impact Analysis - Joe Sollod - Sophomore Student Drew University

TRI Webinar - “Estimation of Community Exposure to Toxic Releases: A Perspective from the Geography of Public Health”

Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DU/DSCEJ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Summer Webinar:

Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Time: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm central


When analyzing the impacts of toxic releases upon public health, a critical question is identifying the extent to which communities are exposed to toxic releases. In most situations, this must be estimated, because it is impractical and, frequently, unethical to track individuals to measure personal exposure histories. Additionally, public health data are often disseminated at an aggregated spatial scale, such as county by county. To effectively relate these aggregated health data to toxic releases, the impact of toxic releases must also be estimated at the same scale, rather than for each individual person. Therefore, there needs to be an efficient means of relating the toxic releases reported by individual factories and other users of toxic chemicals in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program to county-level public health data.

Dr. Conley’s webinar discusses ways of developing these estimates of a community’s exposure to toxic releases within the context of the presenter’s broad-scale public health research. He will present research involving both airborne and waterborne releases, and their impacts on lung cancer and kidney disease respectively. Advantages and disadvantages of different estimation methods will be presented. The presenter’s open access research articles on the estimation of impacts from toxic releases can be found at (airborne releases) and (waterborne releases).


Dr. Jamison Conley is an Associate Professor of Geography at West Virginia University.  He has a BA in Geography & Computer Science from Gustavus Adolphus College, and an MS and PhD in Geography from Pennsylvania State University.  His research interests include the application of spatial analytical techniques to a variety of research areas, including public health, crime patterns, international development, and specialty coffees.
Webinar Presentation (pdf)
Estimation of Comm Expos Conley 9/23/14

Webinar Video

Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Summer Webinar

Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DU/DSCEJ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Summer Webinar:

Date: Wednesday June 25, 2014

Time:  11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (Central Time)


Chemical accidents can take many forms. Whether we are describing a sudden explosion or routine discharges at facilities, these releases can have a significant impact on communities, especially low income communities. Katrina, the release as West, Texas and the British Petroleum (BP) release in Texas resulted in deaths, physical damage to property and the displacement of many people. This presentation will describe how communities can best use portions of the Emergency Planning Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and Clean Air Act 112(r) to become aware of chemicals in their neighborhoods and how to participate in their proper management based on existing laws. As part of the presentation, the audience will be given information to ask the right questions and the types of answers that can best protect their communities.


Deborah Brown – US EPA Region 1

Ms. Brown is presently on a detail as the special assistant to EPA New England's director of Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. Prior to her detail, she managed the Region's resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), and Emergency Planning Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Clean Air Act 112r (CAA 112r), tribal and federal facility enforcement and compliance programs. She has served in numerous capacities during her 24-year tenure at EPA. She has managed its Enforcement Office, the Regional Laboratory, and the Region's Toxics and Pesticides Enforcement Program. In addition to managing the programs described above, Ms. Brown was Vice President for Brownfields Pilots and Counsel, with the Institute for Responsible Management (IRM) while on leave from EPA for two years. While at IRM, she also co-authored a book on Brownfields. Prior to her EPA employment, Ms. Brown was director of Equal Employment Opportunity for the New York Transit Authority, counsel for the Texas Department of Agriculture, and an assistant to the Governor of Texas. Ms. Brown received her JD from the University of Texas School of Law, and a BA from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
Webinar Presentation (pdf)

Webinar Video


  • Call EPA's TRI Information Center
  • 800-424-9346
  • Select Option 3 or TRI
  • Visit the TRI program's website:
  • Contact the TRI Help Desk by e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Introduction to the Tennessee State University Environmental Justice Community Information Website

Friday, April 18, 2014
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm


This webinar will introduce stakeholders to the Environmental Justice Community Information Website, developed and maintained over the past three years through a partnership between Tennessee State University (TSU) and the U.S. Department of Energy. The primary focus of this webinar is facilitating environmental justice stakeholder participation in community-based research, using online GIS mapping resources. The TSU Environmental Justice Community Information Website gives stakeholders easy access to information regarding their local environments. The website is a one-stop-shop and training portal for several environmental and public health-based websites with mapping functions, including the EPA's Environmental Justice Viewer, the National Institute of Health TOXMAP website, the Environmental Defense Fund's Scorecard site and several others. Participants will be led through tutorials for accessing geospatial data from each site. The tutorials are designed make searches as user-friendly as possible, especially for less “computer literate” stakeholders. While there is now a wealth of community-based geospatial data available, some of the interfaces may be difficult to navigate for those with limited computer experience. The online GIS mapping tools hosted by many of the new sites offer excellent opportunities for stakeholders to visualize the scope of environmental issues impacting their lives; however, they may need support in using the tools effectively. The facilitator will provide guidance to enable even novice researches to obtain pertinent community data from all available online portals. Webinar participants will be asked to evaluate the efficacy of the site by completing a brief survey instrument. They will be asked to share their familiarity with online GIS mapping sites in general, and those on the TSU Environmental Justice Community Information Website, specifically. At present, there is little knowledge of what percentage of the users of the many mapping sites are “grassroots” stakeholders. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the majority of users are government agencies and academic researchers.


David A. Padgett, PhD
David A. Padgett is an Associate Professor of Geography, and Director of the Geographic Information Sciences (GISc) Laboratory at Tennessee State University (TSU) in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Padgett is a National Weather Service (NWS) Certified “Advanced Storm Spotter,” and has served as TSU’s Point of Contact and Lead Trainer for the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment program.

Webinar Presentation

Padgett - HBCU Climate Change Conference 2014


Webinar Video


  • Overview and Introductions
  • Introduction to the Tennessee State University Environmental Justice Community Information Website
  • Q&A Session
  • Wrap up


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