Last week I mentioned that I would be taking part in a webinar designed to “help people who want to prepare for the in-person listening session in Newark, NJ on February 5th”; well it happened last night and I’m not sure that it was what I expected.
As I noted in my earlier post this was not supposed to be one of the EO 13650 listening sessions. Rather it was designed to inform community level activists and first responders about EO 13650 process so that they could more effectively participate in a listening session that would be taking place tomorrow in New Jersey.
This webinar was billed as being targeted at residents of New Jersey and New York and a number of the slides did specifically address chemical safety programs within those states. Unfortunately, the two presenters from Skeo Solutions were not familiar with those programs. That really did not hamper their presentation too much as that was focused on the federal programs, but it did affect their responses to some of the questions posed by the audience.
The program that I had really hoped to hear about, the pilot project on interagency cooperation that is being headed by the EPA in Region 2 (The Effective Chemical Risk Management Project, Federal Region 2) was mentioned only in passing. Neither of the two presenters had heard about this project (though some members of the audience had some questions about it so they had heard about the program, but apparently in very little detail). The presenters were able (apparently after some off-line checking which did impress me) to mention that tomorrow’s listening session would include a presentation about the ECRMP pilot. Hopefully that presentation will get posted somewhere, as I have no intention to try to sit through a 7 hour listening session waiting for that one presentation.
This was an interesting exercise in attempting to educate the public about the EO 13650 listening session process. I have no idea how many people participate and even less idea of how many folks knew that this session was taking place. It does seem to me that we are awfully late in the game making these sorts of public outreach efforts.