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EPA Embraces New Communications Technologies

Protecting the nation’s environment requires that people in different locations find ways to work together. That’s why EPA, including EPA’s Superfund program, are embracing new “distance collaboration tools” (PDF) (4 pp, 40 K, About PDF), which help groups work together seamlessly from virtually any location in the country. By reducing travel time, travel costs, and lag time between communications, EPA is able to work for the public more quickly and more efficiently.

There are two new ways that distance collaboration tools can be used to help us work productively and effectively:

  • Distance collaboration tools can be used for online trainings and virtual meetings (PDF) (1 pp, 88 K, About PDF). For example, the Superfund Remedy Review Board used this approach to conduct a Region 10 site review meeting earlier this year. In addition, Regional teams at the Gila River Indian Community and Region 7’s 57th & North Broadway sites have reviewed conceptual site models online, allowing team members to watch and interact with a live computer simulation produced by an off-site contractor. By taking advantage of these virtual meeting methods, EPA was able to eliminate travel costs, improve efficiency, and make these events available to participants who may not have otherwise been able to attend.
  • Work groups and employees are benefiting from the use of team/project Web sites (PDF) (1 pp, 104 K, About PDF), which exchange information and coordinate group activities. One group that has embraced this technology is Superfund’s Technology Innovation & Field Services Division, which has created online workspaces to facilitate technical support at Superfund, Brownfields, and RCRA sites throughout the country.

For more information, please contact Jean Balent at (703) 603-9924 (balent.jean@epa.gov).

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