Superfund Research Program
Community Engagement Core
The CEC has two major initiatives: the Louisiana Clean Air Research Engagement for Superfund Communities (LaCARES) program and the LSU SRP Environmental Health Literacy project. LaCARES is a partnership between the Central Louisiana Coalition for a Clean and Healthy Environment (CLCCHE), the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), and LSU SRP. The initial focus of LaCARES is to help residents of Colfax understand potential exposure to Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals (EPFRs) and other contaminants from a hazardous waste thermal treatment facility, which disposes of fireworks, explosives, and military ordnances. To do this, the CEC has organized at least bi-weekly meetings between community partners, LSU SRP researchers, and trainees and is helping CLCCHE create a repository for materials the community has collected that document their experience with the facility. The LSU SRP Environmental Health Literacy Project is a partnership with the North Baton Rouge Community of Alsen, LEAN, and Southern University that will provide direct bidirectional engagement to schools and community groups. The Alsen community contains numerous permitted industrial and manufacturing facilities as well as the Petro Processors, Inc. Superfund Site. To advance this aim, the CEC has held planning meetings with Wesley Gray, Ph.D., from Southern University and LEAN. The CEC is also guided by input from our Community Advisory Board (CAB), which includes community representatives as well as clergy, NGO leaders, and local elected officials. The first CAB meeting was convened on July 13, 2020 via ZOOM due to COVID-19 and the second meeting was scheduled for December 2020.