The Iowa Superfund Research Program, the Boston University Superfund Program (BUSRP), and three community groups formed a partnership of five project leaders to measure the amount of airborne PCBs in the New Bedford Harbor area. The three community groups were the Toxics Action Center, Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), and the Hands Across the River Coalition (HARC).
ACE and HARC developed research questions related to New Bedford Harbor and shared these questions with BUSRP. BUSRP engaged researchers at the Iowa Superfund Research Program, who have a long history of studying lower molecular weight PCBs and their sources. HARC’s role was to recruit air monitor hosts interested in New Bedford Harbor environmental health concerns.
Two workshops were held with monitor hosts so that they could understand the data collected. Monitor hosts worked in pairs with assistance from the Toxic Actions Center and BUSRP to translate the data. The hosts became much more confident in interpreting the data and comparing them to data generated by the EPA. This outreach and cooperation model can be used for other communities impacted by environmental pollutants.
The complete article describing the results of their cooperation can be found in Environmental Science and Pollution Research.