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Environmental Justice Initiatives to Improve Air Quality in Overburdened Communities

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Environmental Justice Initiatives to Improve Air Quality in Overburdened Communities
Tuesday, May 2, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET

Three states leading in the implementation of Environmental Justice laws and policies will provide details of their progress to enhance programs to ensure equitable air permitting and development. Washington State’s Department of Ecology is implementing a new initiative aimed at expanding air quality monitoring and developing strategies to reduce criteria air pollution in overburdened communities. Leaders will share results and lessons learned from the early stages of this work. The Colorado legislature has made EJ a priority in state environmental programs through the Department of Public Health and Environment. A representative from the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division will review progress, including impacts to their air permitting process. New Jersey, the first state in the nation to require mandatory permit denials on the grounds of EJ, will discuss implementation of their laws and future enforcement goals. Join us for this informative and insightful program.
     $169 A&WMA Member; $229 Nonmember
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Presenters: 

Rylie Ellison, Climate Commitment Act Criteria Pollutant Reduction Specialist, Air Quality Program, Department of Ecology, State of Washington

Rylie Ellison (she/her) received her B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific University and her Ph.D. in Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry from University of California, Davis. In 2020, she was a California Council of Science and Technology Policy Fellow where she worked as a policy analyst in the California State Senate Environmental Quality Committee. She has worked on numerous environmental issues including air quality, waste management, climate policy, and environmental justice. Rylie returned to her home state of Washington to join the Department of Ecology as the Climate Commitment Act Criteria Pollutant Reduction Specialist in 2021.

Nicholas Dummer, P.E., Title V Supervisor, Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, Air Pollution Control Division
Nicholas Dummer has participated in environmental justice initiatives in environmental permitting for the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division since 2016. As a supervisor of the Title V unit, he has been heavily involved in new Colorado air permitting policy development, and permit engineering implementation during a time of intense public interest in the subject. The Colorado legislature and the EPA have made EJ a priority in state environmental programs, and Nicholas will discuss what the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment and APCD have done and what's in development, with a particular focus on air permitting.

Melissa P. Abatemarco, Esq., Regulatory Officer, Office of Permitting & Project Navigation, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Melissa is a Regulatory Officer with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in the Office of Permitting and Project Navigation within the Commissioner’s Office, focused on promulgating and implementing the Environmental Justice regulations. Melissa has also served as a Regulatory Officer for both the Office of Legal Affairs and the Bureau of Legal Services and Stewardship for the Department’s Green Acres Program. Before joining the Department, Melissa represented the Department as a Deputy Attorney General with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office for eight years. 

Caroline Mellor, Climate Commitment Act Environmental Justice Planner, Washington State Department of Ecology’s Air Quality Program
Caroline Mellor (she/her) is the Climate Commitment Act Environmental Justice Planner at the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Air Quality Program. She is an environmental planner with two master's degrees in Community & Regional Planning and Conflict & Dispute Resolution from the University of Oregon. Previously, she worked as a planner and third-party facilitator for collaborative governance, stakeholder processes and conflict resolution for environmental and public processes related to public land, water, transportation, public health and municipal projects for federal, state and local agency clients.

Moderator: Tanya Williams, Environmental Planner, Washington State Department of Ecology’s 6PPD-quinone
Tanya Williams has 20 years of experience supporting federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies with environmental assessments, permitting, health risk assessments, and project management. She has been involved with the Air & Waste Management Association since 2014 and is the current Chair of the Environmental Justice Inter-Committee Task Force. Tanya works as the Washington State Department of Ecology’s 6PPD-quinone Environmental Planner and enjoys coordinating with experts across the nation to assess the best way to remove toxic chemicals from our consumer products and the environment.