Equity, Sustainability and Resilience

Environmental Justice and Equitable Reinvestment

Explaining Complex Environmental Information

Situation

Cleanups of hazardous waste sites are often complex, making it difficult for communities to participate meaningfully in environmental decision-making. Sometimes, people may need more help to fully understand local issues and participate meaningfully in the cleanup process.

Cleanup of the West Lake Landfill Superfund site in Bridgeton, Missouri, is particularly challenging. Radiological materials are buried in the landfill, while contamination has moved into area groundwater. The site is also near a major population center and an active landfill. Left unchecked, a subsurface smoldering event – an underground fire – at the active landfill could migrate to the site.

Solution

Skeo worked with EPA Region 7 and the West Lake Landfill Community Advisory Group to understand local concerns and find ways to help people learn about the site. We also prepared plain language fact sheets on past cleanup activities and outcomes. Today, Skeo continues to be a technical resource for the community, summarizing key site documents and answering people’s questions.

 

Outcomes

Skeo’s assistance has helped build local capacities, ensuring that people can better understand the science, regulations and policies of environmental issues and EPA actions. Our services are making a difference, supporting community efforts to get more involved and work productively with EPA to address environmental issues.

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“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt