Font Smaller Font Bigger Font Normal Font Size

TRI Education and Outreach

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 

Taking Action on Toxics: Training Communities and Engaging Experts to Reduce Pollution Project

The Environmental Protection Agency, Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Project plans, organizes, and implements national conferences in Washington, DC; and face-to-face training workshops in cities across the United States and quarterly online webinars. These outreach and training events are designed to increase awareness and use of Toxics Release Inventory and other toxic chemical data by vulnerable communities, scientists, experts, industries, non-governmental organizations, and the general public. The outreach activities involve regional workshops held in different regions of the United States. The content for each workshop is designed by the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice in collaboration with regional partners based on identified needs of the target population, with emphasis on how TRI data can be used to meet local goals. The project also involves producing and implementing training activities that include quarterly webinars and a national training conference every 18 months. National TRI webinars are offered each quarter of the year. The webinars are developed and implemented to effectively communicate information about Toxic Release Inventory data that is available from EPA, and to teach skills in accessing the TRI database, utilizing online mapping tools, and interpreting TRI data.



Webinar: Building Partnerships to Support Sustainable Manufacturing: Lessons from Louisiana’s Chemical Corridor

November 21, 2017


Video Recording:


Join the Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice on Tuesday, November 21st from 12:00-1:00 EDT for a free webinar: “ Building Partnerships to Support Sustainable Manufacturing: Lessons from Louisiana’s Chemical Corridor,” presented by Ms. Elizabeth Shephard, Founder and CEO of LifeCity, LLC. Louisiana’s Chemical Corridor has long been known as “cancer alley” with historically some of the highest rates of toxicity in the country. With the support of a federal manufacturing designation, new partners have come around the table unlike ever before, including environmental groups, our local Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), industry associations, and government leaders.

 1)      This presentation will review the market demands and federal incentives that support sustainable business development in the manufacturing sector and have been leveraged in Louisiana. This includes the federal government’s place-based initiatives such as U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD’s) Promise Zones and the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP), as well as frameworks such as the E3: Economy, Energy and Environment program.


2)       This discussion will reveal some of the important market statistics that help drive the business case for pollution prevention.


3)       Liz will discuss the most important tools utilized in Louisiana to help make new relationships and build bridges where there previously was limited discussion across industries and sectors of the economy. Participants will leave with a clear list of resources and strategies to support sustainable business development through their own communities.


Elizabeth Shepard Bio

Liz is trained as an energy rater, water policy analyst, LEED Green Associate, and facilitator. After graduating with honors and distinction at Carleton College, Elizabeth was hired by her college as an Environmental Studies Associate to serve as the school’s sustainability coordinator, where she also built connections to the city of New Orleans. Originally from the Gulf Coast, Elizabeth moved to Louisiana to teach Earth Science and worked in the environmental non-profit field for nearly 3 years. Daughter of two independent business owners and as a previous steering committee member of Social Entrepreneurs for New Orleans (now Propeller), Elizabeth is passionate about making business sustainable. She leads the Green Chamber of Commerce Green Committee and serves on event committees for greening the Superbowl, NCAA events, and other special conferences like the USGBC Green Build Conference. She serves as Chair of the Caring for Creation Committee at Rayne Memorial Methodist Church and is an active community member. Recently, Elizabeth was chosen as one of the top 50 Business Women of the Year by CityBuisness, a local New Orleans newspaper.




Webinar - Integrating California and Mexico's TRI Data into CalEnvironScreen

September 14, 2017



Webinar Description

Dr. Vanessa Galaviz presented, “Integrating California and Mexico's TRI Data into CalEnvironScreen” the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool CalEnviroScreen) which is a science-based method for evaluating multiple pollution sources in a community while accounting for vulnerability to pollution. The information provided by this tool has been used to focus compliance and enforcement activities, and to direct funding from several state programs. The tool uses 19 indicators of pollution and vulnerability based on publicly available data. Among the pollution indicators is the Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) model based on Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. California communities located near the Mexican border raised concerns that local impacts were ranked too low because CalEnviroScreen failed to incorporate cross-border pollution.


Key Take Away Points:

  • CalEnviroScreen is a mapping tool that helps identify California communities suffering from cumulative impacts of multiple pollutants and where people are especially vulnerable to pollution’s effects.
  • CalEnviroScreen is being used to assist the State of California to identify environmental justice communities for investment of proceeds from the State’s cap-and-trade program.
  • This presentation covers the work done to improve CalEnviroScreen with respect to California-Mexico cross-border pollution, including Toxic Releases from Facilities.


Dr. Vanessa Galaviz Bio

Dr. Vanessa Galaviz is an environmental health scientist whose work focuses on addressing environmental injustices faced by underserved communities. She works to reduce exposures in  predominately low-income and minority populations with multiple sources of pollution who also face occupational, socioeconomic and biological stressors. In combination, these stressors can increase vulnerability to adverse health effects from exposure to pollution inevitably resulting in disproportionate health impacts. She is  Mexican-American and experienced first-hand the struggles of living in an underserved community in Los Angeles, and was first in her family to attend college and graduate school.  Dr. Galaviz has experience in multiple aspects of the environmental health field, including industrial hygiene/exposure assessment, air pollution, biomarkers of exposure and susceptibility, cumulative impacts, community-based participatory research, citizen science, and science-policy work. She works in partnership with communities, government, and academics to achieve environmental justice for underserved communities.


 The Healthy Environment and Community Assessment Partnership (HECAP): Effects of Climate Change on Environmental Exposure in Local Communities of Indianapolis


February 2, 2017


 Webinar Recording:



Webinar Description

Dr. Yi Wang of Indiana University’s Richard Fairbanks School of Public Health discussed the Healthy Environment and Community Assessment Partnership (HECAP) and how it can inform decision-making in an environmental justice context. HECAP contains storylines in GIS map format that demonstrates how vulnerable populations can be affected by environmental exposure under climate change threats (heat, air pollution, flooding); HECAP also demonstrates burden of environmental hazardous exposures at census tract level, providing tools for environmental justice. The data used in the HECAP project are publicly available and the outputs can be replicated for other geographical scales.


Dr. Yi Wang is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Health at Indiana University Richard Fairbanks School of Public Health. Dr. Wang's research interests are health effects of air pollution, toxic release and climate change in susceptible populations and communities. He has been working on research for climate change vulnerability and adaptation in disadvantaged communities of Indianapolis. He is interested in studying prenatal exposure to toxic release, greenspace and other environmental factors on newborns and early childhood. He also plans to study communication of climate change co-benefits to promote policy to curb effects of climate change on disadvantaged communities. Dr. Wang holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Health from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and completed his postdoctoral training in Epidemiology at Brown University. 



Webinar - Community-Driven Environmental Collaborative Problem-Solving

November 12, 2015

Webinar Recording:


Webinar Description

S.C. State Representative Harold Mitchell will discuss his role as Executive Director of ReGenesis and how he leveraged an OEJ grant to make a real and visible difference in Spartanburg through a successful Public-Private-Community Partnership. He will emphasize key factors that led to the successful collaboration between community residents, industry and government in Spartanburg, what it took to bring the various stakeholders together and build the necessary bridges to achieve objectives, and the lessons learned that could help other communities to build bridges with local industry and local/state/federal government elected officials and agencies to reduce pollution and revitalize their communities. EPA will add how TRI Can Assist Community-Driven Revitalization Efforts with an emphasis on the benefits of using TRI data to help communities identify industrial toxic releases, pollution prevention activities, and how to prioritize efforts to reduce pollution, and how TRI can help play a role in environmental collaborative problem solving initiatives like the one in Spartanburg.


Rep. Harold Mitchell and

Representative Harold Mitchell, Jr. is a respected leader with a long record of achievements in affordable housing, environmental justice, community revitalization, and public policy. 

Shelley Fudge
Shelley Fudge - Ms. Fudge leads the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Community Engagement Initiative in the Office of Environmental Information/Environmental Analysis Division. 



Toxics Release Inventory Data for Health Professionals

 October 22, 2015


Webinar Recording:




Webinar Description

Learn about the basics of the TRI Program, and walk through a case study with EPA staff that will demonstrate how the EJSCREEN mapping tool can help answer questions health professionals may receive. EJSCREEN includes TRI chemical release data and information about what health impacts are associated with TRI chemicals. It also provides other EPA data that might be of use to health professionals. 


Kara Koehrn works for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington DC. While pursuing her interests in public health and the environment, she earned a BS in Biology at Davidson College and a Masters in environmental health and toxicology at Duke University. At EPA, Kara works as a toxicologist and data analyst for the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). Specifically, she assesses the hazard of chemicals for the TRI Program, analyzes and communicates TRI data to the public and the media, communicates risk information, helps work toward environmental justice, and facilitates university student engagement with EPA.


Jocelyn Hospital has been with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 2013 as the toxicologist for the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program. She helps manage the TRI chemical list and works on a variety of other TRI projects, including risk communication and tools management. Prior to EPA, Jocelyn worked in the Environmental Risk and Toxicology line of business at ICF International. She also served as Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru. Jocelyn has a Master of Science in Environmental Health from the Harvard School of Public Health with a concentration in Exposure, Epidemiology, and Risk. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Virginia.


Navigating the Toxics Release Inventory Website and Understanding Your Right to Know

June 23, 2015 


Webinar Recording


Webinar Description

This webinar provided participants with tools needed to navigate the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) website that gives access to data on toxic releases and pollution prevention activities at industrial facilities and offers numerous resources for using and understanding this information. 



Sarah Swenson currently works at EPA Headquarters co-leading communications and outreach for the Toxics Release Inventory Program. In 2013, she led the effort to redesign the TRI website and continues to serve as the website’s content manager.Sarah had wanted to work at EPA since she was a kid; in 2009, she joined EPA after receiving a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas. While pursuing her degrees, Sarah worked for both local government organizations and the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, a non-profit organization in Falls Church, Virginia. 



Using TRI to Better Understand Risks of Industrial Pollution

December 16, 2014


Webinar Recording


Webinar Description

Hear about research being conducted by Drew University as part of the TRI University Challenge, and what this research means for communities, researchers, students, and industry. Presenters discussed identifying ways to apply TRI data to research on environmental health, environmental justice, and disaster response.



Caitlin Briere is a program analyst for the US EPA’s Environmental Analysis Division. She has been with the EPA for 4.5 years, after receiving her Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University. Prior to EPA, Caitlin worked for the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University. She is currently the project lead for the TRI University Challenge, and the co-lead for the 2013 TRI National Analysis.


Lisa Jordan directs the Spatial Data Center at Drew University, where she has led the EPA-TRI University Challenge partnership for the past two years. The partnership has resulted in several GIS tutorials on the Toxics Release Inventory, as well as numerous student-led research projects and posters, presented to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey Geospatial Information Network, the Passaic River Symposium, and the TRI National Training Conference.


Theresa Campbell is a junior at Drew University, majoring in Environmental Studies & Sustainability and Economics, with a minor in French. Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, she is dedicated to environmental stewardship. Theresa has worked closely with Environment New Jersey, a non-profit organization, to manage and recruit new supporters and activists, and to raise funds.  Recently, Theresa became the newest member of Drew University’s Sustainability Committee, where she contributes ideas and helps to enhance the university’s community as a whole. 


Joe Sollod is a sophomore at Drew University, majoring in Environmental Studies and Sustainability and is on track to minor in Political Science. His academic and career interests are in renewable and sustainable energy sources. His project studies FEMA records on Hurricane Sandy and the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).



Chemical Safety and Environmental Justice, Straightforward Solutions for Environmental Justice Communities

June 25, 2014


Webinar Recording



Webinar Description

Chemical accidents can take many forms. Whether we are describing a sudden explosion or routine discharges at facilities, these releases can have a significant impact on communities, especially low income communities. Katrina, the release as West, Texas and the British Petroleum (BP) release in Texas resulted in deaths, physical damage to property and the displacement of many people.  This presentation will describe how communities can best use portions of the Emergency Planning Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and Clean Air Act 112(r) to become aware of chemicals in their neighborhoods and how to participate in their proper management based on existing laws. As part of the presentation, the audience will be given information to ask the right questions and the types of answers that can best protect their communities. 



Deborah Brown, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1


Ms. Brown is presently on a detail as the special assistant to EPA New England's director of Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. Prior to her detail, she managed the Region's resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), and Emergency Planning Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Clean Air Act 112r (CAA 112r), tribal and federal facility enforcement and compliance programs. She has served in numerous capacities during her 20+year tenure at EPA. She has managed its Enforcement Office, the Regional Laboratory, and the Region's Toxics and Pesticides enforcement program. In addition to managing the programs described above, Ms.Brown was Vice President for Brownfields Pilots and Counsel, with the Institute for Responsible Management while on leave from EPA for two years. While there, she also co-authored a book on Brownfields. Ms. Brownhas also served as an EPA counsel. Prior to her EPA employment, Ms. Brown was director of Equal Employment Opportunity for the New York Transit Authority, counsel for the Texas Department of Agriculture, and an assistant to the Governor of Texas. Ms. Brown received her JD from the University of Texas School of Law, and a BA from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Introduction to MyEnvironment, myRTK and ECHO TRI Tools

Monday, March 10, 2014


Webinar Recording



Webinar Description

The Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DU/DSCEJ) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) hosted the data tools Spring Webinar. The purpose of the webinar is to guide individuals through the data tools myRTK, My Environment, and ECHOS, to geographically view industrial facilities releasing toxic chemicals near their home, work and schools, access data on air and water quality and help users find permit, inspection, violation, enforcement action and penalty information in their communities.



Sandra Gaona – myRTK Data Tool

Sandra supports data access and analysis for the Toxics Release Inventory program.  Sandra received her bachelor's degree from the University of Scranton in International Business and her master's degree from George Washington University in Environmental Engineering Management. Sandra has 12 years of experience working at the federal, state, local level on environmental information reporting and management, air quality permitting, and sustainable development.


Kim Balassiano – My Environment

Kim has been with the USEPA since 2007 and supports public access tool development for the Office of Environmental Information. Kim received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in Foreign Service and has her Geography Masters degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has worked as a GIS analyst and geospatial project manager for industry and the government for nearly 20 years.


Rebecca Kane – ECHOS Data Tool

Rebecca Kane is a program analyst who has worked at EPA since October 2000. She has spent most of her time in the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance working on the Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) website and other web products.


Introduction to Toxics Release Inventory for Communities
(TRI Basics # 1)

 December 17, 2013


Webinar Recording


Webinar Description

The Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hosted the Toxics Release Inventory webinar, “Introduction to the Toxics ReleaseInventory for Communities (TRI Basics # 1)." The purpose of the webinar is to provide an introduction toTRI along with some historical case studies to grassroots community groups, environmental justice organizations and others who serve communities exposed to pollution.


Learning Objectives

  • Increase use and understanding of the Toxics Release Inventory among environmental justice communities and other stakeholders.
  • Learn basic information about TRI including why it was created and how communities can benefit from using TRI.
  • Learn how TRI was used in the early development of the Environmental Justice movement to lay the scientific basis for protection of communities living in close proximity to toxic facilities.



Shelley Fudge

  • EPA’s lead for the TRI Community Engagement Initiative, including oversight of TRI community engagement pilot projects in four diverse environmental justice communities across the U.S.
  • Over 23 years of experience with EPA covering various issues, including TRI pollution prevention, environmental justice, community-based ecosystem protection, aquatic habitat protection, climate change/energy efficiency, animal feeding operations, and underground storage tanks.
  • Over 30 years of experience in volunteer community grassroots organizing.

Dr. Beverly L. Wright, environmental justice scholar and advocate, author, civic leader and professor of Sociology, is the founder and executive director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Center addresses environmental and health inequities along the Mississippi River Chemical Corridor and the Gulf Coast Region.  The center is a community-university partnership organization providing education, training and job placement for residents in environmental justice and climate-impacted communities within the United States. 






2601 Gentilly Boulevard
New Orleans, Louisiana 70122

Dillard University Seal