Community Involvement and Demolition

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Community relations should be part of any planned demolition activity. Community engagement is important for residential demolitions because they can involve management of harmful materials and they also present opportunities for site reuse.
EPA’s goal is to provide an environment where all people enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and have equal access to the decision-making process to maintain a healthy environment.
Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
Fair treatment means that no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental and commercial operations or policies.
Audience at a public meeting
Meaningful involvement means that:
people have an opportunity to participate in decisions about activities that may affect their environment and/or health the public’s contribution can influence the regulatory agency’s decision their concerns will be considered in the decision making processthe decision makers seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected

You are not obligated to follow EPA’s environmental justice practices. However, you may want to look to EPA’s commitment to environmental justice when you address community involvement in the demolition process. The approach you choose should suit your community’s unique needs.

EPA’s Environmental Justice Program
Public Participation Guide
Demolition (from the Center for Community Progress) Exit
Remaking America for the 21st Century – Reclaiming Vacant Properties – June 2012 conference
Managing the Message (PDF) (35 pp, 1.9 MB, About PDF) Exit
Columbus Area Commissions Exit- Columbus, OH uses area commissions to act as a liaison between neighborhood groups, property owners, residents, developers and city officials.

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