7.7 Building a Stronger Chesapeake Bay with EPA | Podcast



The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ten regional offices across the country that carry out the agency’s programs. In this episode, co-hosts Dan and Alison sit down with EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz, whose office serves Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, DC, and seven federally recognized tribes. Adam shares his insights on Chesapeake Bay restoration and other EPA priorities in the region, as well as the importance of environmental justice and local partnerships.


Show notes:

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With all the depressing climate news out there, it’s sometimes hard to see progress. The Climate Conversation cuts through the noise and presents you with relevant climate change solutions happening on the Hill and in communities around the United States.

Twice a month, join Environmental and Energy Study Institute staff members as they interview environmental, energy, and policy experts on practical, on-the-ground work that communities, companies, and governments are doing to address climate change.

Whether you want to learn more about the solutions to climate change, are an expert in environmental issues, or are a policy professional, this podcast is for you.


Episode Transcript:

Daniel Bresette: Hello, and welcome to The Climate Conversation. I’m Dan Bresette, president of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. And with me today is my co-host, Alison Davis. Hey, Alison, how have you been?

Alison Davis: Hey, Dan, I’ve been good. And I recently went on a weekend trip to Ocean City, Maryland, where we had to drive across the Chesapeake Bay. So I’m really excited to jump right into our topic for this episode, which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay as well as other regional priorities. The EPA has 10 regional offices that handle the execution of the agency’s Programs, and today we’re going to talk about Region 3 or the Mid-Atlantic region, which serves Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia and seven federally recognized tribes.

Dan: The Mid-Atlantic Regional Office manages and supports the Chesapeake Bay program in its mission to restore the health of the bay. Restoring the Chesapeake Bay is not only important for wildlife, but also for the more than 18 and a half million people who live in the Bay watershed. That number is expected to exceed 20 million people within the next decade. And this program is a major area focus for EPA’s Mid-Atlantic office as the Bay watershed touches all five states in the region and fully encompasses the nation’s capital.

Alison: In addition to Chesapeake Bay restoration, the EPA has several priorities in the region, including environmental justice, public health, clean drinking water, climate change adaptation to impacts like sea level rise, especially and more, we won’t be able to cover everything the Region 3 office is working on in just one episode, but we’re looking forward to hitting on some of the highlights with our very special guests today.

Dan: Adam Ortiz serves as EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator where he oversees federal environmental and public health protections in the region. Before EPA he served Maryland as director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Director of the Department of Environment for Prince George’s County, which is the county I live in, and Mayor of the Town of Edmundston, which is one town over from where I’m recording this in Hyattsville. During his three term tenure at Edmundston, Mayor Adam spearheaded the East Coast’s first complete Green Street, successfully captures and filters stormwater runoff. Adam, we’re neighbors, and now are people on a podcast at the same time. That’s exciting. Welcome to the show. Thanks for being here.

Adam Ortiz: It’s always good to meet a neighbor. It’s a small world getting smaller all the time, but really honored about your interest. And looking forward to our conversation. 

Dan: Before we talk about your work at EPA, I’d love to learn a little bit more about your time in local government in Maryland. We both live in gorgeous Prince George’s, we’ve worked with different people in Montgomery County as well. Curious, what are some of the programs you developed at the local level in Maryland? And how has that informed the work that you get to do now at EPA as the administrator of the Mid-Atlantic region.

Adam: So the background is a local official gave me the chance to see, you know, how things work, how things hit the ground, but projects and programs are successful, and which ones aren’t in and what makes a program successful or unsuccessful. So, you know, if I bring anything to this job, principally, it’s that experience that it has to work with people in the context in which they live. The most relevant and chronologically the first experience that really informed my perspective occurred, Dan, in my first month on the job as mayor, I was elected in 2005. It was the first elected office I had ever held. And, as you know, but your listeners may not, is that  Edmundston is a working class town, below the national median income, very diverse. Majority minority people all over the world all living in a little town of 1,400 people, which is smaller than most high schools in the United States. There’s an environmental justice connection, which which I can make a little bit later on the program. During my first month on the job the town suffered a terrible flood. And it wasn’t a hurricane. There wasn’t predicted to be a severe storm event. But that’s what happened in the town flooded and 57 homes were underwater. And that was really a pretty abrupt introduction to being a small town mayor. And, and I learned a lot through that process. And if you’ll indulge me, I’ll just share some notes from that experience. First was just the immediacy of emergency management. Like we had to get people out of their homes, booting by watercraft, because the waters were so high in some parts of the town to watch the devastation of water. You know, it’s not just a wet basement, necessarily, but the water can be very destructive immediately, physically, but also the lingering effects of mold and spores on the health of people living in their homes. And also, you know, the recovery of it, especially among working class people can be pretty tough. So regular homeowners insurance doesn’t include acts of God, by and large. So working class folks getting back on their feet was tougher than perhaps other places. So just managing that, and just seeing how hard folks were hit, and the help that we needed. And we were able to get some help for people to recover from this flood that sort of zooming out from that, Dan, it turns out that that was one of four floods in four consecutive years. And Edmundston is a lower lying town, it’s in the FEMA floodplain and started being built up around the turn of the century. So 120 plus years ago, and was basically an environmental justice community. It was founded by freed slaves after the Civil War. And it was the only land that they could purchase and inhabit that white landowners didn’t want and continues to this days of working class community, but zooming out, so poor floods four years in a row, and suffering the equivalent of a 100 year flood. So that’s the floodplain, 100 year floodplain four years in a row. It was a rude awakening that something was changing radically in our climate and in our weather. So this was around the time of Katrina and other high profile, severe storm events. And it was just clear, and looking back now, almost 20 years later, that we’re part of the climate generation where this is becoming more normalized. But over time, you know, we tried to adapt, you know, we’re like, okay, so as a small town, you know, how can we withstand floods, but also be more responsible for our footprint. So our town did not flood from our local river, the Anacostia River that you and I are familiar with. It did not flood from the river, but it flooded from stormwater runoff from the surrounding areas. So we had to rebuild. We did increase flood protections, raised the levees around the town. So that there’s something you know, today is climate adaptation. But back then, you know, we didn’t have that term. But then we also rebuilt the town in the streets to control stormwater on site instead of passing our runoff to the next town downstream. And we thought that was important to be responsible for our footprint. But through that, EPA started the green streets, green towns and green jobs program that focus on working class communities, frontline communities, in my county rolls, like here in Prince George’s County and in neighboring Montgomery county, we were in charge of waste management and recycling and composting, sort of the unsexy things that happen when people bring their material out to the curb, and to try to be responsible with the cycle of waste and to create closed loop economies and recycle responsibly. So you know, I can, I have so many notes to share, but the local experience overall just gave me firsthand experience on the ground, how policy decisions and planning decisions, impact real people in real communities.

Dan: So you mentioned that some of these works are examples of climate adaptation, we think about climate adaptation and resilience quite a lot. And in 2022, EPA released its Mid-Atlantic climate adaptation implementation plan. And I’m curious how that’s going and what are you seeing in terms of the results of of having that plan in place? 

Adam: Well it’s a good plan. And we did it in coordination with our states and localities and also talking to other regions just to learn. And, you know, some of it is just bulking up being more resilient. So the examples I gave in Edmundston are part of it, making sure that our infrastructure can deal with the new storms, you know, the infrastructure that we have, principally, and, you know, urban and suburban areas, in particular, were really built around the more than a century ago, up until about 1960, 1970, you know, with a suburban sprawl and that whole phenomenon, but it’s outdated. So we’re looking very much at the infrastructure. And it’s not just the hard infrastructure to control floods, but also stuff that’s underground wastewater treatment plants, drinking water systems, to make sure that as we’re working with states that, that we’re prepared for deluges of water, and its impacts that there’s more water coming faster than ever before. Another thing is information. Information is really important. So we’ve invested heavily in mapping and increasing data layers and collaborating with state and local governments. So people have the most up to date information on what the flood prone areas are, where we’re gonna see more hydrologic pressures, you know, places that are gonna be more inundated with waters and the systems with them. And we do that with our sister agencies, USGS, the Geological Services, geological service, as well as NOAA’s well known National Atmospheric Association that is more known for weather stuff in in sort of big things, but you know, this, this impacts people where they live. And then here in the Chesapeake Bay region, we’re also taking a close look at the impacts of more water and more freshwater on the bay, which in some places is brackish. So, the salinity changes, temperature changes with runoff, especially in the summertime from impervious surfaces- concrete and asphalt as well. So really, it’s, you know, EPA can’t do anything alone, federal government can’t do anything alone. So we’re working as much as we can across silos and throughout all the different levels of government, and advocacy organizations. So they know, you know, what we can expect to know what, we know together as an environmental community and to help us continue to be more resilient and adapt. We have so much more to do. But this is the first time, Dan, in American history that there’s really been a substantial concerted investment in adapting to the new Climate Reality. And those of us that are working in the public sector and private sector and nonprofit sector. We’re part of this climate generation. So people are expecting it. But we know it’s going to be tough. But you know, the longest journey begins with a single step, and we’re making that in the Biden Administration. 

Alison: So I’m glad that you mentioned the bay. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the country with more miles of shoreline than the entire US West Coast, making it a vital aspect of people’s livelihoods and their lifestyles in the region. But there’s a long list of problems threatening the health of the bay. You mentioned some of them like pollution, wastewater and stormwater runoff, land development, just to name a few. But what would you say are the biggest priorities for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office.

Adam: The bay is the signature uniting issue in this part of the country. And more than 40 years ago, the states around the bay in the federal government stepped up and said, we have to do more above and beyond what the Clean Water Act requires. Because you know, this incredible resource that we have for recreation and fisheries and food, and you know, in the culture of life, around this part of the country, is threatened and going in the wrong direction. And there’s a lot of progress that’s been made in stepping up. But there’s areas that were harder than we expected. So, you know, there’s a handful of ones, so EPA, in the states, are really good at addressing point source polluters. So what that means is, like a direct place where pollution is coming out, like a wastewater treatment plant, or, or an industrial facility, pipes, you know, discharges directly into waters, and we got our hands around that the tougher stuff is what’s called nonpoint pollution. And that’s more generalized, usually smaller sources of pollution that are increasing. And examples of that are most urban in the most rural places. So urban stormwater runoff is the fastest new source of pollution. And there continues to be more and more impervious surface, which picks up all the pollutants on the land, whether it’s fertilizers or automotive fluids, and other pollutants that settle from the air, they get washed right down to the storm drain. And that’s tougher, because we’re literally talking about millions of properties in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. So getting a handle on that’s the tough stuff. The other one is small farms. So EPA regulates big farms, usually 1000 head of cattle and more. But, you know, in this region, this historic region, we’re farming goes back to the colonial period, there’s lots of small farms. So those are the tough ones that the smaller sources and the way that we’re stepping up is by being more creative and having more tools and more investment to get to the smaller sources. So there’s a few things that we’re doing. One historic funding, we’ve invested and are investing hundreds of millions of dollars, more than doubling the historic investment in Chesapeake Bay programs, working with states and localities to get conservation measures into the places that need it the most. So these farms in these urban areas to control the runoff coming from these places. So we’re making progress there. But we still have a long way to go. That’s the toughest stuff. The other one is to work in a more thoughtful way with the agricultural community. You know, there’s so much polarization in our society. It’s one of the saddest characteristics of today’s political climate. And historically, there’s been this polarization between farmers and environmentalists, and coming into this job as a member of the Biden administration, we said that’s a false distinction. That’s a needless conflict. That doesn’t help anybody. We have to get over that. So I’ve been working very intensively with the agriculture community with Farm Bureaus, with farmers, with industry to get us on the same page on conservation. And we’ve had a lot of success in the more than two years I’ve been in this job. So we have partnerships with some big companies like Hershey Chocolate, which is in the heart of the upper River watershed in Pennsylvania, for them to work with us. farmers that they sourced from, for their dairy products, their milk chocolate that they’re famous for, for them to have conservation practices on these small farms, and we’re working with them, it’s been very successful, and to also work with the state of Pennsylvania in particular, because there’s just so many farms in Pennsylvania, to get more investment and more coordination with small farmers to control runoff. And we’ve been very successful. So in the Biden administration, we’ve stepped up with with historic funding, but we’ve also asked Pennsylvania to step up as well. And this was something I did early on in this job more than two years ago. And the state responded. And Republican led legislature at the time, and I worked across the aisle to tell them how important it was to invest in farmers and to improve water quality in their local streams, and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay. So we’re stepping up, but we have a lot yet to do. But one of the great things, Allison is, you know, we’re in an age where the sophistication and manipulation of data and information is better than ever, our mapping our water quality monitoring is better than ever. So we can also be more strategic in the places that we’re trying to put conservation measures.

Alison: Significant efforts like that require significant investments. So it’s a good thing that the Chesapeake Bay Program was recently awarded $206 million over the next four years, thanks in large part to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This is the program’s largest contribution ever. But I’d like to talk about how this will impact the lives of people around the watershed, and especially in terms of environmental justice, which is a core aspect of the funding announcement. So as grantees for the bay funding are selected, how will you monitor and ensure commitment to the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative.

Adam: So for folks who aren’t familiar, the Justice40 Initiative is a commitment that we’ve made that 40% of our investments coming from the federal government are going to communities that have historically been marginalized, in that economic marginalization, racial places that are taking on more negative environmental stress than other places. And so far, we’ve been meeting all of our goals. And it’s not just funding from the Chesapeake Bay program, but it’s all of our programs, our enforcement programs, more than 40% of our compliance and enforcement activities are in communities that are the hardest hit. And recently, in the last year, we’ve launched an initiative called the Priority Engagement Communities Initiative. And it’s our way of leaning into the places that are most impacted. And using data and using institutional knowledge that we’ve gained over the decades, we’ve identified 37 communities in the Mid- Atlantic region. So that’s from Pennsylvania in the north, Virginia in the south, West Virginia in the West you know, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. And these are the communities that have the worst health outcomes compared to their neighbors. Usually communities that have more industry, suffer from more flooding than other places. And we’ve been very focused on getting into these communities, not just from our desktops, you know, not just from brands, but also showing up with state and local officials, and in some cases, philanthropy to help these communities that that are most impacted, untangle, you know, that the challenges that we have. So what we find is that, you know, a lot of these communities, historically, they did not always have representation. In some cases, they couldn’t meaningfully vote. They were shortchanged in terms of investment from state, local, and federal government. And in many cases, they were redlined. You know, the practice of keeping poor people or people who are African American or Latino in certain neighborhoods with fewer services and more negative environmental impacts, and saving other places more desired places for white people, and then putting industry in and pollution sources next to those neighborhoods or in those neighborhoods. And that’s not fair. But to fix that, it takes an all hands on deck approach. In some cases, these, these polluters, sometimes they’re out of compliance with the laws, and if so, we’re taking action, but sometimes they are in compliance with the laws, but there’s just too many polluters in one place. So how do we deal with that? Some of it can be funding to help industry use cleaner equipment. So we do that around rail yards in particular, we have grant programs to help change out diesel engines that are used for moving rail cars around or moving containers around with clean in many cases, electric vehicles. So as a facilitator, and we recently have done this in South Richmond, which is an environmental justice concern of ours, in getting the community food gardens and pop up food markets into the community, so people have access to healthy food. But the most important thing Allison is that we show up, that we go to these places that we walk the communities firsthand with the affected folks and help build the environmental team of stakeholders to undo these long standing environmental justice knots that many of them struggle with.

Alison: Justice40 programs have done a whole lot to support these disadvantaged communities. However, one opportunity for improvement is the unique barriers that tribes face to access funding. And this is not meant as a dunk specifically on Justice 40. I think you could probably say that about most federal programs, unfortunately. But it does make me curious about how your office approaches, consultation and engagement with the seven tribes in the region. Can you tell us about some tribal led environmental projects and how EPA has supported them.

Adam: I’m so thrilled that we have a strong relationship with the federally recognized tribes in this region. What’s unique about Mid-Atlantic is this was first contact with Europeans, Captain John Smith, and the first inhabitants of Roanoke, these are the communities that like greeted them at the shoreline directly. So of course, you know, we know the history of Native American displacement and domination. And it’s in the Biden administration, we want to do everything we can to correct that and make sure that the tribes are empowered and regain control over their environment, we have a lot to learn from them, historically have a close relationship with Mother Earth, many of the rivers, if not most of them in the Mid-Atlantic region are actually named after the tribes that lived along them because they were so plentiful, and a source of food and transportation and commerce for them back in the day. And if it’s not named, of them, it’s often a native word. So that so there’s a close connection. So we committed to restore, restore their leadership role, especially in their lands, and there’s a few things that we’ve done. One is capacity, you know, often we talk about grants or projects are things but smaller communities, you know, particularly environmental justice communities don’t necessarily have the capacity that wealthier places have, they don’t have the staffing, because they’re often working class and and just more disadvantaged from an economic standpoint. So we’ve been investing in them having the capacity for for their governments to function. So for all of the tribes, we have funded environmental directors and help expand their staff. And in some cases, they have five or six people, and that’s up from zero to five or 10 years ago, in many cases, so they’re able to do the work. So that’s important, then the question is, what kind of work are they doing? So in many cases, they have native lands, and they’re continuing to acquire more, sometimes with help from philanthropy or other levels of government, and from us, and to make sure that the lands are healthy and beautiful. So investing in water monitoring, air monitoring, and in different cases, we’ve treated them the equivalent as a state government. So they have authority over water and air laws, just like a state would have delegated authority from us because we see them as governments. So they’re able to protect, but also mitigation. So we’ve worked with him on a variety of grants to make sure that lands are remediated that if there’s an adjacent source of pollution that we address that either through compliance efforts or voluntary efforts with the polluter.

Dan: In recent years, this is something we get a lot of questions about when we go to Capitol Hill. And that is some of the actual, you know, pollutants and toxic substances that EPA has to deal with. And one of those that gets a lot of attention these days, for lots of reasons, is per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS. These are incredibly common, and there, they prevent stickiness and things. And so they’re used all over the place. But unfortunately, exposure to them is pretty harmful to human beings and the environment. EPA has been active on PFAS lately, and I’m curious if you could explain how some of the EPA recent rules and other actions might help protect the environment and also human health across the Mid-Atlantic region.

Adam: You know, PFAS is everywhere, and it sticks around it accumulates, it’s a bad thing in the environment. But we’re trying to focus on the delivery mechanisms that places where human beings have the highest potential for coming in contact with these harmful chemicals and they are harmful. They can cause cancer, illnesses, especially in vulnerable populations, very young, in our older residents as well. So we’re focused first on drinking water and that was the rule that we issued a few months ago. And that requires water systems over the next few years to do the testing and to know the degree of PFAS that they have. And then to invest in controls for that we can help. We have historic funding, and we hope to get more in the future working with Congress. And we have lots of technical assistance available for folks to do that. So the drinking water is the first and the highest priority. The other one, new one just released in the last week, is PFAS and Superfund sites, and other sites that we large sites that we know that have hazardous materials and are under already under our purview for cleanup. So you know, we’re pretty much on top of heavy metals at these sites now in the whole family of everyday contaminants that we’re now familiar with. And now these facilities also have to test and clean up PFAS. And this one is important, because at these sites, we have the responsible party. More often than not, we know who the polluters are. Because it’s not fair that so often we taxpayers are paying to clean up the problems of other people that in some cases are long gone, but not the case. In a lot of these sites, there’s still responsible parties that are cleaning up and they have to do the testing, and they have to do the cleanup. And if they’re not willing to do it, we’ll do that and send them the bill. So, so this is important. But we’re also, you know, trying to help, we know that, as you said, frontline communities bear more than their fair share. So we have historic funds available, especially for small water systems, almost $10 billion altogether to help folks out. And as I said, I hope that we have even more in the future, we’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do, but it’s on the radar. And you know, I think the President and Vice President get a lot of credit for making this a priority in this term.

Dan: Well, we’re recording this towards the end of April. And the release date is a little bit after that, and you have a really big event coming up. You have the EPA Mid-Atlantic summit on May 16. So plug for that it’s available to everyone, everyone can participate looks like a great event. But one thing that really struck me when I looked at the webpage for it was how many state and local partners are involved. And I’m curious what that says about your approach and your office’s approach to building and enhancing partnerships with state governments, county governments, local governments, with groups of governments associations of governments in the area, and, and what you’re hoping to get out of having that summit coming up in just a little while.

Adam: You know, the environmental challenges that we face are huge. And you know, as we’ve been talking about just now, you know, there are some cases decades or centuries in the making, and EPA cannot do it alone. Just from my experience as a small town mayor, you know, I certainly couldn’t have done it alone with the other members of the town council in our tiny staff, we have to work together because all of us have different roles and responsibilities, different resources to bring to the table, different experiences. And there’s wisdom at every level. And the more that we work together. And we know this in our personal lives, you know, we work together to figure out hard things, now we stand a pretty good chance of finding solutions. And in our region, it’s very diverse, I love the Mid-Atlantic region, I have lived around here pretty much my whole life. And it doesn’t matter if it’s, you know, coal country, Appalachia, or you know, the water men and women in the Chesapeake Bay or in the coastal communities and all of the suburban and urban and rural communities in between. We’re all facing the same challenges. And we have a lot to learn from each other. So the summit was designed to begin to bring us all together, that folks in Baltimore are dealing with a lot of the same problems in Pittsburgh that, that farmers on in the Delmarva Peninsula, Delaware, and Maryland and Virginia, are facing some of the same challenges that farmers are facing in central Pennsylvania as well. And and that we’re all in it together. And we have to listen to each other we have to learn together. And then no, it’s not just about that. It’s also about feeling connected to a community, a large community, like literally millions of people concerned about the stuff working together. So the summit is our way of bringing folks together to listen and learn and be inspired. And to know that, that we have to have each other’s backs. And in fact, we do have each other’s backs.

Dan: Well, I hope it goes really well. It looks like a great event. I know many of several of my colleagues have already signed up for it to check it out and keep track of all the great stuff. So we’ll be sure to include a link to it in our show notes, as well. Adam, thanks so much for joining Alison to me on this episode of The Climate Conversation. It was really great to get to know you a little bit and hear about your work in Maryland but also in your position right now at EPA. So thanks very much. Well, Alison, that was really fun to talk to Adam. Well, first of all appreciate his public service but also I think it’s really interesting when someone with that experience at the local level takes that not only to county government, which he did, but also to the federal government. I just think that is so invaluable to understand sort of how the different layers of government work to understand what things look like from a community perspective, which is something we talked to so many people about, whether it’s on the podcast or in briefings or in articles, you know, how do you involve community leaders? Well, Adam was a community leader is a community leader. And I think that insight that really only comes from serving in a position like the Mayor of Edmundston, Maryland, bringing that experience to EPA Region 3 is just so important. And it sounds like they’re doing great stuff. I am not sure I will be able to make the summit on May 16. But I know several of us will. And I’m really looking forward to hearing about how it went. I wasn’t kidding, when you look at the website, it’s just a great list of organizations from around the Mid-Atlantic at the local state level. So I think they’ll have a really good time. I’m really looking forward to hearing about it. Oh, and before I turn it over to you, Alison, for your takeaways, this isn’t a takeaway so much as it’s a look ahead. We talked about PFAS today, we have a fact sheet that will be coming out later this year talking about that issue. So it’s not out yet. But just for listeners to keep it in mind, eventually, you’ll have access to it, we’ll be sure to include it in Climate Change Solutions and blast it out to people. But I know that’s a resource that some of our colleagues are working really hard on right now. And I think it’ll be a really good one and super, super relevant and timely based on what EPA is doing. But also, like I mentioned, talking to Adam, something we hear about a lot on the Hill is an issue. Congressional staff are really interested in learning more about that.

Alison: That’s so right, I think that one of the things that probably makes an ineffective regional administrator is that he used to be on the other side of a lot of those partnerships, you know, in a lot of his state and local positions, he would have been working with the EPA. And so now he’s reaching out to people who are in the positions that he used to be in. So I think that’s just fantastic. And I did check the summit is not conflicting with an EESI briefing. So there’s no reason for me at least, I think for most of our listeners to miss this really great event that has a lot of super interesting things on the agenda including a workshop on PFAS. If you want to learn more about EESI’s work on coastal resilience or environmental justice, head to our website at Also follow us on social media @eesionline for all of our recent updates. The Climate Conversation is published as a supplement to our bi-weekly newsletter, Climate Change Solutions. Go to to subscribe. Thanks for joining us and see you next time!