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Your Environment. Your Health.

University of Washington

Superfund Research Program

Outreach Core

Project Leader: Thomas Burbacher
Co-Investigator: Chetana Acharya
Grant Number: P42ES004696
Funding Period: 2000 - 2006

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Project Summary (2000-2006)

The University of Washington (UW) SBRP Community Outreach Core has a long history of working with government agencies, Tribal Nations, community groups, health professionals, and individual stakeholders to address environmental problems of concern, primarily in the state of Washington. The Community Outreach Core continues its mission of establishing collaborative projects among the groups described above. During the funding period, the scope of the core's activities will broaden to include new Superfund sites and new collaborations. The Core has also had a very active program in the area of k-12 environmental health education, working with teachers and students throughout the State of Washington. The focus on k-12 education was not continue during this funding period. Other programs within the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, however, continue their strong commitment to k-12 environmental health education. The specific aims of the Community Outreach Core are to: 1) Continue and expand collaborative projects aimed at environmental and health concerns in a) communities surrounding the Duwamish River Superfund site, b) communities surrounding the Commencement Bay Superfund site, and c) immigrant community members identified via the UW Environmental Justice Network in Action, 2) Develop new collaborative projects aimed at environmental and health concerns in communities surrounding the Lake Roosevelt Superfund site in Eastern Washington and 3) Expand partnerships via a new community grants program. Current activities related to the Duwamish River, Commencement Bay and immigrant community members (East African and Asian Pacific Islander) were developed after extensive consultation with local and state agencies and community groups. The proposed expansion of these activities to Lake Roosevelt was the result of recent conversations with the Washington State Department of Health and US EPA Region 10. The proposed grants program was developed as a result of discussions with various community organizations (Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition and Citizens for a Healthy Bay) that indicated the most acute need for their communities was local funds that could be directed at specific small projects. The UW approach has always been to try to build collaborations with agencies responsible for hazardous waste cleanup and health concerns of citizens in conjunction with local community organizations. In this way, the Core staff are careful not to interfere with productive relationships aimed at addressing the goal of actively involving the community in the decision-making process.

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