Tuesday, January 27, 2009


HARRISBURG – A first-of-its-kind conference will be held April 26 – 28 to educate and improve communication among members of environmental justice communities, community organizations, private sector organizations and government officials, the Department of Environmental Protection announced today.

The conference, organized by the DEP's Environmental Justice Advisory Board and Office of Environmental Advocate, along with Drexel University, will be held at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel, Harrisburg.

"Environmental policy in Pennsylvania must be formed with respect and sensitivity toward everyone and with special care to protect vulnerable communities, said Environmental Protection acting Secretary John Hanger. "Our goal is to include community members and advocates as partners and participants in planning and decision making. This conference will foster a better understanding of the obstacles vulnerable communities face and what we can do to address them."

The conference, "Building Healthy and Improved Communities for All," is also being made possible through the efforts and sponsorship of the departments of Transportation, Public Welfare, Education, Health, Community and Economic Development, as well as Simmons Cooper Cooney & Conway, Waste Management, and individual donors. Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.