DEC Environmental Justice Team

Environmental Justice Team at the DEC

Learn more about our Foundation, Function, Team Goals, Current & Ongoing Projects, or Members of the Team!

Foundation

    In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency set a standard for Environmental Justice incorporation into all Vermont DEC programs. In the years following, EPA has provided continued  guidance and support as we launched these efforts here in Vermont. Although the principles of environmental justice were established in the early 1990s , the Vermont DEC has no Environmental Justice Policy. While lacking a formal  Environmental Justice Program or specialized staff, through a group of dedicated staff, we are making progress on incorporating environmental justice into all of DEC’s programs through collaboration with external stakeholders and other state agencies, piloting innovative community engagement techniques, staff training, development of an environmental justice mapping tool for Vermont and exploring opportunities to fund this critical work.. The Environmental Justice Team was formed in 2018 to carry on the work and effort in absence of formal policies or programs, and has continued to make progress on many fronts.

 

Function

  • What does the team do?

    • Monthly meetings to share information and collaborate across divisions

    • Manage contracts related to environmental justice
    • Advises programs within in DEC on how to include environmental justice considerations in their work
    • Oversees and implements DEC’s Environmental Justice Staff Training Plan

 

Team Goals

  • Develop an Environmental Justice Policy for VT DEC 

  • Empower Team member to serve as division liaison in Environmental Justice 

  • Advise the Department on how to integrate Environmental Justice into DEC’s regulatory, outreach and funding programs 

  • Explore funding sources (ex. EPA Healthy Communities grant program) for projects in Vermont communities  

  • Develop a plan for Environmental Justice sustainability and consistent application throughout all DEC Divisions into the future 

  • Support and develop further staff training including EJ team experts (ex. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Poverty Training)

  • Monitor the effectiveness of DEC EJ Policy and Title VI compliance.

  • Promote awareness of Environmental Justice in DEC 

 

Current and Ongoing Projects

  • Training and Internal Engagement

  • Informational Environmental Justice Mapping Tool

  • Environmental Justice Community Engagement 

  • Improving Language Access Resources

  • External Stakeholder Collaboration  

 

Team Members 

Representaing Administration and Innovation Division 

Carey Hengstenberg

Lindsay Carey

Kari Dolan

Joanna Pallito

Shalini Suryanarayana

 

Representing Air Quity and Climate Division

Heidi Hales

Ellen Parr Doering

 

Representing the Commissioner's Office

Deputy Commissioner Kim Greenwood

 

Representing Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division

Catie Bartone

Elias Erwin

 

Representing Environmental Assistance Office

Megan Cousino

 

Represetnting Environmental Enforcement

Dan Mason

 

Representing Legal Services

Katelyn Ellerman

 

Representing Watershed Management Division

Lindsay Miller

Jamie Bates

 

Representing Waste Management and Prevention Division

Kristi Herzer

 

Representing Water Invesment Division

Chris Rottler