USA: EPA Schedules Public Workshops on Housatonic River Cleanup

In order to ensure ample opportunity for local citizens to be involved in EPA’s ongoing analysis to determine the “Rest of River” clean up decision for the Housatonic River, the Agency will sponsor a series of workshops to provide information, and will hold an all day interactive opportunity for discussion.

On April 5, 6, and 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Shakespeare & Company, 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, Mass., EPA’s technical team will provide in a series of workshops a comprehensive overview of the context within which concerns relating to the “Rest of River” may be addressed.

The workshops will be held at the Founder’s Theater and consist of:

– Mini Workshop 1, Tuesday April 5, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Why Working With River Processes Matters: Housatonic Evolution, Ecology, and PCBs.

– Mini Workshop 2, Wednesday April 6, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Getting the Facts on PCBs: Human Health Risks, Ecological Risks, and PCBs in the Housatonic River.

– Mini Workshop 3, Thursday April 7, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Exploring Alternatives for Clean up: Remediation, Restoration Alternatives, and Environmentally Sensible Remediation Concepts.

The participatory all-day event (or “Charrette”) is scheduled for May 7, 2011, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., also to be held at the Shakespeare & Company theatre, specifically at the Bernstein Theatre. EPA will develop a series of activities that will permit the attendees to learn more about the relationships among the Rest of River issues. The activities will also permit participants to better understand and respond to different alternatives being considered in any “Rest of River” decision. The activities are designed to ensure that the community can give specific input for the EPA to consider in fashioning its proposed remedy. EPA understands that its decision directly links to the cultural, economic, ecological and human health of the region. This decision cannot be made in a vacuum and must carefully consider the interests and needs of the community as it moves forward.

EPA’s goal is to provide information that will enable each attendee to build their understanding around this complex and challenging project. EPA is creating a temporary, dedicated web site for the workshops and public Charrette, so that community members unable to attend one or more sessions will be able to obtain the information. Video replay of each of Mini Workshop will be available, along with copies of all handouts. The website will also house documents that can be helpful to the community during this process.

EPA will utilize a professional facilitator for these events.


Source: epa, March 23, 2011