Main Topics

I. Home

II. Environmental Threats in Ohio

III. Health Impacts

IV. The Regulatory Agencies

V. Prioritization of Environmental Risks

VI. The Disconnect

VII. Ensuring Participation

VIII. Resolving Environmental Disputes

IX. Conclusion

X. Citizens' Guide to Environmental Protection

XI. About the Green Environmental Coalition

A Handbook for Professionals Serving Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Communities:
Health Professionals
Social Service Professionals

Produced by the Green
Environmental Coalition
in Association with The Ohio Environmental Education Fund

About the Green
Environmental Coalition

The Green Environmental Coalition is a grass roots organization based in Yellow Springs, Ohio, a prosperous college town with a history of activism.

The Coalition was formed when a number of neighborhood groups concerned about a hazardous waste facility realized their common interest, recognizing that a combined voice could be more effective than one. Meetings soon shifted from a small gatherings of a half-dozen people sitting around kitchen tables to large community meetings with experts from around the country. The hazardous waste facility, with its management a thousand miles away, never knew what hit it.

After its success, the Coalition resolved to help other neighborhood groups confronting environmental issues to untangle air and water regulations, and to gain access to the political system. Through the Coalition's support, neighborhood leaders have emerged to serve as unofficial liaisons between their community and the powers that be.

Many of these neighborhoods, located in less affluent parts of the state, are home to under-served groups. While income, education, ethnicity, and opportunity are essential considerations, the key to working in these communities is to recognize that these factors combined create an environment unique to the community.

People in these neighborhoods are usually too busy to address environmental concerns. They may hold two jobs, and often have both kids and grandchildren living in the home. Daycare is out of the question for families making low-end wages, making it hard to find time for meetings with government bureaucrats. Their frustration increases as they find it progressively more difficult to penetrate the workings of the system. When they finally do get their voices heard, they tend to denounce everyone associated with the system. Harder still is finding the time for attending workshops on how to resolve environmental conflicts before they can escalate.

The Coalition found that the groups already working with under-served communities--social workers, health care professionals and educators-- would best facilitate resolution of environmental concerns. We then compiled the Assess Don't Guess curriculum to provide ready access to the information and resources needed for understanding and resolving environmental issues. To disseminate the curriculum, we hosted a series of workshops with the various professional groups. We soon realized that we could more effectively distribute the curriculum to a wider audience as a CD and posted on the Web.

For more information about the Green Environmental Coaltion, visit our website at

Contact the Coalition by


Mail: P.O. Box 266, Yellow Springs, OH 45387

2000 Green Environmental Coalition. All rights reserved worldwide.
Cached documents copyright by their respective authors.

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