Community Environmental Health & Education

Center for Community Environmental Health

Understanding when and where disease occurs and the environmental conditions related to disease is a basic community right-to-know issue for both community residents and public health professionals. The Center for Community Environmental Health works in partnership with citizen groups, community advocacy organizations, universities and others to identify and develop environmental health information tools for community-based environmental health interventions and policies. We have developed a citizen's guide to conducting community environmental health assessments that serves as a focal point of the Center’s programs. The workbook can be used with traditional environmental concerns, such as drinking water quality, as well as contemporary issues such as brownfield redevelopment and community revitalization.

Community Education and Training Program

ELI’s Community Education and Training Program provides citizens and grassroots groups with information on environmental law and policy that can help them participate effectively in the decisions that impact public health and the environment in their communities. These activities aim to provide practical, strategic information on how citizens can use the system of environmental law to change government and industry practices. The Program seeks to marshal ELI’s considerable experience in creating environmental training and education programs, to benefit those who traditionally have not had a voice in the law and policy arena.

Blight Revitalization Initiative for Green, Healthy Towns

ELI also works for community environmental health and justice through the Blight Revitalization Initiative for Green, Healthy Towns (BRIGHT). BRIGHT works with overburdened communities to identify corridors of blighted, vacant, and environmentally-impaired properties and supports the community and municipality in developing a revitalization plan to improve infrastructure, remediate brownfields, generate alternative energy, grow local food, and provide job training and full time employment opportunities.

To facilitate the sharing of best practices, ELI is currently developing the BRIGHT Guide. This document will review EPA’s Area-Wide Planning Grants and other corridor redevelopment projects launched over the last decade to analyze projects that have successfully catalyzed environmental justice and economic opportunity in  overburdened communities, and compile insights into a step-by-step best practices guide for redevelopment projects. Putting theory into practice, BRIGHT is also working to launch a pilot corridor revitalization project in Washington D.C.’s Ward 7.