Environmental Justice Listening Sessions

[47 Pa.B. 1918]
[Saturday, April 1, 2017]

 The Office of Environmental Justice fulfills a critical role within the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) ensuring that all residents of this Commonwealth, especially those that have historically been disenfranchised, are fully involved in the decisions that affect their environment.

 The Department will hold nine listening sessions around this Commonwealth to accept comments on Environmental Justice in this Commonwealth. Verbal testimony is limited to 5 minutes for each witness and will be recorded by a court stenographer. Witnesses are asked to submit one written copy of their verbal testimony. Organizations are asked to designate one witness to present testimony on their behalf at each listening session.

 Specifically, the Department is soliciting input on the following questions:

 • What environmental justice concerns are most pressing in your community?

 • Do you feel that the current definition of an environmental justice community (20% poverty or 30% minority, or both) properly represents the needs of your community and the Commonwealth at large?

 • Do you feel the Department is engaged with marginalized communities to ensure that they have a voice in the decision-making process? How can the Department be more engaged with these communities?

 • What tools have you used to find out information on Department permitting/enforcement actions?

 • What ways can the Department be more effective at sharing information with the public?

 • How can the Department be more effective at receiving public input?

 • What resource is your community lacking that the Department can provide that would assist in efforts to ensure environmental equity?

 • What additional steps can be taken by the Department to effectively reach out to these vulnerable communities to ensure that their concerns are taken into consideration?

 The listening session schedule is as follows:

April 12, 2017
4:30 p.m.—6:30 p.m.
Greene County
Margaret Bell Miller Middle
126 East Lincoln Street
Waynesburg, PA 15370
April 13, 2017
4 p.m.—6 p.m.
Allegheny County
Hill House Association
1835 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
April 20, 2017
4:30 p.m.—6:30 p.m.
Lycoming County
The Genetti Hotel & Suites
200 West 4th Street
Williamsport, PA 17701
April 27, 2017
5 p.m.—7 p.m.
Erie County
Tom Ridge Environmental Center
301 Peninsula Drive, Room 112
Erie, PA 16505
May 2, 2017
4 p.m.—6 p.m.
Dauphin County
Department of Environmental
Southcentral Regional Office
Conference Room
909 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110
May 11, 2017
5 p.m.—7 p.m.
Lehigh County
Allentown Public Library
Community Room
1210 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18102
May 15, 2017
5 p.m.—7 p.m.
Lancaster County
HACC Lancaster Campus
East Building, Room 203
1641 Old Philadelphia Pike
Lancaster, PA 17602
May 23, 2017
5 p.m.—7 p.m.
Chester County
Location to be determined
May 25, 2017
4 p.m.—6 p.m.
Philadelphia County
Location to be determined


 Questions concerning the comment period and listening sessions can be directed to the Department's Office of Environmental Justice at (484) 250-5942. For more information about Environmental Justice in this Commonwealth or the listening sessions, visit the Department's web site at (Keyword: Environmental Justice).

 Persons in need of accommodations as provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 should contact the Department at (484) 250-5818, or through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users) to discuss how the Department may accommodate their needs.

Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 17-537. Filed for public inspection March 31, 2017, 9:00 a.m.]

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