Environmental Justice Communities: Best Practices to Deal With Natural Disasters

Tue, Sep 15, 2020 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM EDT

Vulnerable, overburdened, and underserved communities have been disproportionately impacted by natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, major floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and other disasters. And, now from COVID 19. The webinar convenes some of the leaders in developing best practices and time-sensitive solutions for these communities from organizations that are members of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice.

Committed speakers include Timothy Fields, Senior Vice President of MDB, Inc., and former U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Land and Emergency Management; Reggie Cheatham, Director of EPA’s Office of Emergency Management; and Cheryl Levine, PhD, Senior Advisor and Director of At-Risk Individuals Program, Special Programs/Readiness/Emergency Management and Medical Operations, Office of the Assistant Administrator for Preparedness and Response, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Meet the Panel

Timothy Fields serves as Senior Vice President of MDB, Inc. He leads MDB’s Environmental Justice, Facilitation, and Redevelopment activities. Tim has more than 40 years of experience addressing complex environmental site assessment, cleanup, waste management, redevelopment, and environmental justice issues. Before coming to MDB, Tim spent 30 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and served as Assistant Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM). He has chaired multiple EPA advisory panels, including the OLEM Environmental Justice Task Force, where he led the development of an environmental justice strategy for Superfund, solid and hazardous waste management, Brownfields, and underground storage tank programs. His presentation focuses on the work of the Federal Interagency Working Group on EJ, Subcommittee on EJ and Natural Disasters.  Tim also discusses some of the most impactful actions which will benefit EJ communities, e.g., implementation of community evacuation plans, training programs that benefit community stakeholders, and community vulnerability assessments.

Cheryl Levine, Ph.D., serves as the Senior Advisor and At-Risk Individuals Program Director at HHS/Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. She provides subject matter expertise, gathers and disseminates promising practices, monitors emerging issues, and leads coordination for internal and external partners to ensure the integration of access and functional needs for at-risk individuals into public health and medical emergency preparedness, response, and recovery activities. She convenes federal interagency committees and leads national calls and webinars to develop and disseminate guidance. She designs and delivers training, tools, guidance, and requirements for addressing the access and functional needs of at-risk individuals. Cheryl’s presentation addresses how HHS/ASPR tools and resources have been used to address the needs of at-risk individuals in natural disaster preparedness, response, and recovery and COVID-19.

Reggie Cheatham is the Director of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) within the Office of Land & Emergency Management (OLEM), at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Reggie is also the Chair of the National Response Team (17 Federal Departments and Agencies) as outlined in the National Contingency Plan for response to Oil and Hazardous Substance and brings experience in the response to major national disasters. His presentation focuses on EPA’s work in addressing the needs of vulnerable communities in natural disaster preparedness, response, and recovery and COVID-19.