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Environmental Health Education Needs Assessment Program

NACCHO, in cooperative agreement with ATSDR, annually provided resources to local public health agencies to address community health education needs and concerns associated with hazardous waste sites.


Beginning in 1994, NACCHO and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted the Environmental Health Education Needs Assessment Project. This effort provided training and resources to local health departments (LHDs) to work with communities affected by hazardous waste. The overall goal of this project was to protect public health by enhancing and sustaining the capacity of LHDs to prevent or reduce the impact of hazardous substances on affected communities.

The Environmental Health Education Needs Assessment Project provided grants to LHDs from 1996 to 2001. Grantees attended training, and then, with their community partners and other agencies, assessed the community's health needs and concerns. Finally, the LHD and project stakeholders developed an environmental health education plan to address these needs.

By participating in the project, LHDs are able to:

  • Address community health concerns about hazardous waste sites;
  • Design, implement, and evaluate community health education activities;
  • Work with communities to address concerns;
  • Work with various federal and state agencies at sites; and
  • Develop their capacities for leadership.
Assessment to Action

As a result of this program, NACCHO developed the Assessment to Action: A Tool for Improving the Health of Communities Affected by Hazardous Waste. This tool encourages local health departments and communities to collaborate in decision making by undertaking a community environmental health education needs assessment. This tool provides steps and methods to assess community needs and concerns related to hazardous waste sites and to formulate action steps for addressing environmental health concerns. More »


Grant Sites Database

The Environmental Health Education projects developed by the grantees have been synthesized into a database to share information on how to form partnerships, involve community members, work with the media, overcome community apathy, and get beyond a community's quest for legal action.

The database is an interactive project map that identifies the location of all LHDs that participated in NACCHO's Environmental Health Education Needs Assessment project. To access this information, simply click on the marker that identifies a site location. Details of the contaminants of concern, community profiles, the role of the LHD, and lessons learned will be provided.


Peer Advisory Network

The Peer Advisors are local health officials and community members who have worked on hazardous waste issues in their communities. They are available by phone or e-mail to answer questions about using the tool or about community involvement. Please contact NACCHO program staff to contact one of our Peer Advisors.