Illinois Environmental Justice Advisory Group

Frequently Asked Questions

What is “Environmental Justice”?

Environmental justice is the protection of the health of the people of Illinois and its environment, equity in the administration of the State’s environmental programs, and the provision of adequate opportunities for meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

What is the purpose of the Illinois Environmental Justice Advisory Group?

  1. Make recommendations on changes to the draft Environmental Justice policy.
  2. Make recommendations on changes to the draft Public Participation policy.
  3. Provide suggestions on how to better utilize Brownfields in EJ communities
  4. Provide recommendation for improving the environment in Environmental Justice areas.

Who are the members of the Illinois Environmental Justice Advisory Group?

The Illinois Environmental Justice Advisory Group consist of representatives from Environmental Justice groups, environmental groups, community –based organizations, industry, academia, government and trade associations.

  • American Bottom Conservancy – Kathy Andria
  • Village of Robbins – Mayor
  • Economic Youth Committee for Economic Recovery – Sarah Shipp-Parran
  • Chicago Legal Clinic – Keith Harley, Esq.
  • Respiratory Health Association – Brian Urbaszewski
  • Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group – Brenda Carter
  • University of Illinois at Springfield – Emeritus Professor Peter Wenz
  • USEPA – Alan Walts Director, Office of Enformement & Compliance Assurance
  • Chemical Industry Council – Lisa Frede Director, Regulatory Affairs
  • Johnson, Depp & Quisenberry – Greg R. Michaud Manager, Environmental Services
  • Little Village Environmental Justice Organization – Kimberly Wasserman
  • People for Community Recovery – Cheryl Johnson
  • Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization – Maria Chavez
  • Blacks In Green "BIG" – Naomi Davis
  • NAACP Illinois Conference of Branches – George Mitchell, President
  • Sierra Club - Jack Darin, Chapter Director
  • Illinois Energy Association – James R. Monk, President
  • Institute for Environmental Science & Policy – Sylvia Hood Washington, MSE, Ph.D., ND
  • Chemical Industry Council of IL – Mark Biel, CAE,IOM
  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale – Dhitinut Ratnapradipa, Ph.D., CHES
  • Earth Tone Environmental Group – Tammy Johnson, Executive Director
  • Southeast Environmental Task Force – Peggy Salazar / Tom Shepherd
  • USEPA – Lara Lasky, Environmental Justice Program Coordinator
  • Jewish Community Relations Council – Stephanie Sklar, Director
  • Internal Illinois EPA Environmental Justice members:
    • Director
    • Deputy Director
    • Chief of Staff
    • Community Relations Staff
    • Bureau of Air Staff
    • Bureau of Land Staff
    • Bureau of Water Staff
    • Division of Legal Counsel Staff

Where will the meetings be held?

Meetings are held by video conference in Springfield, Chicago and Collinsville. For those that cannot attend the video conference locations, conference call in opportunities will be provided.

Who should I contact for more information at the Illinois Environmental Justice Advisory Group?

Chris Pressnall
Environmental Justice Officer
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
1021 N. Grand Avenue East
P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
(217) 524-1284

Ground Rules

  1. We will be as open as possible but honor the right of privacy.
  2. What is discussed in our group will remain confidential.
  3. We will respect differences. We won’t discount others’ ideas.
  4. We will be supportive rather than judgmental.
  5. We will give feedback directly and openly, it will be given in a timely fashion, and we will provide information that is specific and focuses on the task and process and not personalities.
  6. Within our group, we have the resources we need to solve any problem that arises. This means that we will all be contributors.
  7. We are each responsible for what we get from this team experience. We will ask for what we need from our facilitator and the other group members.
  8. We will try to get better acquainted with each other so we can identify ways we can develop professionally.
  9. We will start on time and end our meetings promptly.
  10. We will keep our focus on our goals, avoiding sidetracking, personality conflicts and hidden agendas. We will acknowledge problems and deal with them.