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EPA to Hold Public Meeting for Holyoke Residents to Discuss Environmental Concerns

Release Date: 04/29/2003
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1008

HOLYOKE - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public meeting Wednesday, May 7, so Holyoke residents can voice their concerns to city officials and EPA about environmental and public health issues in Holyoke.

The "Listening Session," from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Holyoke Children's Museum in downtown Holyoke, is being organized by the EPA's New England Office as part of an environmental justice initiative aimed at improving environmental and public health conditions in poorer communities of color of New England.

The meeting is open to the public and will include two Spanish-speaking translators who will help during roundtable discussions and various other activities.

"EPA is dedicated to fair and equal treatment for all, regardless of race, color or income, when it comes to environmental protection," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "Listening sessions such as this one in Holyoke are hugely important for identifying environmental issues of concern to local residents and finding solutions for fixing those problems."

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

    • 5 to 6 - Holyoke Environmental Awards Ceremony and Poster Contest
    • 6 to 6:30 - Environmental Information booths and a reception with snacks and refreshments
    • 6:30 to 6:50 - Attendees will hear remarks from Jefferey Hayden from the Holyoke Office of Economic and Community Development, two community representatives, Daniel Ross of Nuestras Raices and Carlos Vega of Nueva Esperanza, and the director of EPA New England's Office of Civil Rights, James Younger. Mayor Michael Sullivan will also address the attendees later in the evening.
    • 6:50 to 7:45 - Roundtable discussions on what participants believe are the most pressing environmental justice issues in Holyoke. A community representative will facilitate the discussion at each of the tables. There will be two Spanish-only tables.
    • 7:45 to 8 - A representative from each table will talk about the discussion at their table, including the top three concerns that were identified.