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Working with Stakeholders | Engagement and Translation Advisory Committe

Working with Stakeholders | Engagement and Translation Advisory Committe

Working with Stakeholders | Engagement and Translation Advisory Committe


Jun 28, 2023

The MIT SRP Engagement and Translation Advisory Committee (ETAC) is comprised of representatives from Wilmington, MA, constituents from the Passamaquoddy Tribe, members of the MIT SRP, EPA representatives, State officials, and other key advisors.  The collective working interest of the ETAC members focuses on public health and environmental concerns, with MIT SRP serving as the bridge and a hub to advance stakeholder interactions and bidirectional discussions.

MIT SRP held an ETAC meeting with stakeholders involved with issues relating to the Olin Chemical Superfund Site.  In addition to MIT SRP members, attendees also included Wilmington community members, members of the Wilmington Environmental Restoration Committee, the leader of Silent Spring, and members of the EPA Superfund Project Management Team.  The theme of the meeting centered on ways that MIT can help community members and the EPA.  At this meeting, the SRP team helped to bring together two critical stakeholder groups:  the Wilmington community and the EPA.  As the moderator, Dr. Bevin Engelward facilitated an in-depth discussion of the current state of the Olin Chemical Superfund Site such that community members could hear the perspective of the EPA.  Likewise, the EPA representatives heard the viewpoints and issues about site clean-up and water monitoring plans from community members.  The community members expressed their continual concern and frustration pertaining to the watershed impact, definition of the groundwater contamination plume, and the remediation timeline.  This ETAC meeting gave EPA an opportunity beyond the Agency’s regular Olin stakeholder update meetings to address specific community questions.  Unlike the stakeholder discussions initiated by the EPA where the Superfund project team designed the agenda items, the topics at this ETAC meeting were driven by the community members.  As such, the Superfund project team could respond directly to what the community felt were their most pressing concerns.  In this fashion, the MIT SRP team member helped to bridge a difficult conversation between community members and EPA representatives.  While cleanup is underway, community members feel that the pace of cleanup is staggeringly slow and so they worry about continued spreading of toxic chemicals even during the cleanup period.  In the end, each side understood better the viewpoint of the others which will undoubtedly help to grease the wheels toward a mutually agreeable resolution at some point in the future.