Neighborhood Environmental Partnership

The Pollution Prevention Assistance Division (P2AD) has been working with neighborhood and industry leaders in two of the most heavily industrialized areas of Atlanta and unincorporated Fulton County (the area located within zip codes 30318 and 30336) to develop a program that will serve as a model of interaction between industry and citizens to improve the environmental quality of life in their shared community. This program, the Neighborhood Environmental Partnership (NEP), is a collaboration among neighborhood leaders, industry, and state and local government entities designed to encourage pollution prevention and community outreach.

Program efforts include encouraging industry to use pollution prevention as a preferred approach to minimizing environmental effects in their communities. In addition to providing on-site technical assistance to industries in the NEP project area, three workshops have been offered to the industries located in the targeted communities. The first two workshops, held in September 1996, focused on pollution prevention opportunities for wood finishers and furniture manufacturers. Twenty-seven percent of the lumber and wood products companies in the NEP area registered for these workshops. The third workshop, held in January 1997, targeted the printing industry. Twelve companies, or 26% of the printing companies, in the NEP area registered for this workshop.

In addition, P2AD and the other members of the partnership, the City of Atlanta and The Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy, have supported the efforts of the Neighborhood Steering Committee and the Industry Advisory Group to define environmental priorities and create opportunities for communication and cooperation between industry, citizens and neighborhood-based organizations. A fundamental part of this process has been to help each group learn how to constructively express their concerns and establish the means for on-going communication. This has been accomplished through role playing, facilitated work sessions, and industry tours.

The NEP is helping to promote pollution prevention. Additionally, neighborhood and industry leaders are developing methods to address local environmental concerns together, and are thus building the relationships necessary to establish sustainable environmental programs which will meet both business and community needs.