Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Yale University

Superfund Research Program

Community Engagement Core

Project Leader: Nicole C. Deziel
Grant Number: P42ES033815
Funding Period: 2022-2027
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

Connect with the Grantees

Visit the grantee's eNewsletter page Visit the grantee's Video page

Project Summary (2022-2027)

The Community Engagement Core (CEC) builds bidirectional partnerships with target communities to enhance understanding of the health risks posed by emerging water contaminants in the environment (specifically 1,4- dioxane (1,4-DX)), and to provide interventional strategies that will improve public health and inform health policy. In the first phase of the project, the CEC focuses on communities in Nassau and Suffolk counties of Long Island, New York. These communities include residents whose public drinking water wells are impacted by nearby EPA Superfund sites.

The CEC works with the Administrative Core to develop replicable tools and resources to provide data and generate knowledge among stakeholders who are invested in addressing water-related issues in the State of New York, especially in areas near Superfund sites. To accomplish this, the team identifies effective methods to communicate risk information to each stakeholder group, including the economically-disadvantaged and environmental justice communities proximal to these sites. The specter of emerging contaminants in drinking water is fraught with uncertainty about risk and appropriate courses of action, creating an atmosphere of confusion, blame, anxiety and, most importantly, mistrust.

The CEC addresses these challenges through facilitation of engagement and information exchange among the diverse and relevant constituencies in New York. They create opportunities for constituent groups, including federal, state and local governmental agencies, to learn from each other and share information. They encourage and facilitate multi-directional interactions among communities and experts to complement and support the Yale Superfund Research and Training Program’s (YSRTP’s) overarching objective of fostering research that improves the exposure assessment, health evaluations, and mitigation of emerging contaminants in drinking water in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regions 1 (New England) and 2 (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and eight Tribal Nations) and North Carolina. In addition, they collaborate with the Research Experience and Training Coordination Core (RETCC) to educate and train the next generation of scientists to conduct citizen science and develop skills for advocating for environmental justice and equity. These initiatives are transferable to other communities facing similar challenges including the State of New Hampshire, which is the second targeted area for CEC activities. The research team also shares their findings and experience with the North Carolina State University Superfund Center, which is collaborating with the YSRTP’s research projects.

The overarching goal of the CEC is to engage, educate and empower residents in impacted communities so they may understand and inform public health policy, and participate in the improvement of public health. Results of this collaborative effort will have a significant impact on the health of human populations in New York and New Hampshire, aid the resolution of similar challenges at Superfund sites throughout the U.S., and enhance global efforts to monitor, remediate and determine the impact of water contaminants.

to Top