|For Immediate Release|
March 21, 2000
Northwest Indiana Part of Study
National findings from the Small Communities Outreach Project for EnvironmentalIssues (SCOPe) wererecently released by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairsand Administration (NASPAA), and includedinput from 16 communities in Northwest Indiana.
The outreach project in Indiana was conducted by IndianaUniversity Northwest’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA),one of four universities selected nationwide to receive a SCOPe grant toperform the study. Universities from Florida, Ohio and Texas also participated.
The purpose of the study was to engage elected officials and staff oflocal governments as well as local businesses, in discussions that willcontribute to the development of regulations under the Clean Air Act. Ledby Dr. Ellen Szarleta,IU Northwest SPEA associate professor, and graduate assistant, Alex daSilvaof Gary, discussions included participation from the communities of CedarLake, Dyer, East Chicago, Fowler, Griffith, Highland, Knox, LaPorte, Lowell,Merrillville, Michiana Shores, Munster, Schererville, St. John, Wanatahand Whiting.
“Participation of these 16 Northwest Indiana communities and their businessesprovided an important voice for Indiana in the regulatory process,” saysSzarleta. “Small communities are often more heavily burdened by environmentalrules and it is important for regulators to understand the issues facedby these communities.”
According to Szarleta, one of the important findings of the SCOPe Projectwas that small communities expressed more concern about the economic vitalityof their community than about health and environmental risks caused bylocal businesses. The study also showed that the emphasis of sound businessreason for compliance is more compelling than threats of enforcement, aswell as rules and guidance need to be both in “plain English” and multilingual.
More information on the Indiana SCOPe project is with Szarleta at 219-980-6698.The national SCOPe Project Report is available at www.naspaa.org/SCOPe/Findings2000.htm
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