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Regional Public Liaison (RPL)

Regional Public Liaison Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Regional Public Liaison (RPL) program in 2003 to assist citizens and other stakeholders in resolving issues related to its hazardous and solid waste, and emergency response programs.

Who are the Regional Public Liaisons?

The Public Liaison is a Regional official designated to help people with issues or concerns about Superfund site cleanups. Each Regional Office has a Public Liaison.

EPA is committed to being responsive to the public and to promptly and fairly resolving issues and concerns brought to their attention. In some cases, the individual or group raising the concern may believe the normal problem solving channels did not deal fully or objectively with their situation.

In such cases, they may request assistance from the Public Liaison. A Regional Public Liaison can independently look into the circumstances and try to facilitate a resolution of the issues. A Public Liaison will assist people in obtaining information and mediating discussions with program staff. Public Liaisons do not have the authority to make or change Agency decisions. Their success depends on their ability to help the parties involved develop mutually acceptable solutions.

How Can the Regional Public Liaison Help You?

Members of the public can call upon the Public Liaison after they have tried to get their questions answered or concerns resolved through the normal channel of the site team.

EPA staff should call upon the Public Liaison when existing channels for problem resolution have not worked or when there is a particularly contentious relationship where a more neutral party might be of assistance. The Public Liaison is a good person to consult early on when it appears that major individual or community dissatisfaction or polarization is developing. He/she will have knowledge and skills which can help to consider the available options and resources.

The RPL can:

  • Answer your questions or direct you to the right person at EPA.
  • Help you understand and work through the legal and regulatory decision-making process.
  • Facilitate discussions between you and the appropriate EPA staff to solve the problem.
  • Gather information and make recommendations to EPA management on ways to reach a reasonable resolution to the problem.

How can I contact my Regional Public Liaison?

Click here for a list of Regional and Headquarters contacts.

Resources

RPL factsheet (PDF) (1 pp., 0 K, about PDF)

RPL Guidance and Annual Reports

Guidance
May 2011 RPL Program Guidance (OSWER 9200.1-106; supersedes March 2004 guidance)

Annual Report
FY 2010 Annual Report (OSWER 9200.0-79)

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