Wed, 26 Feb 2014 10:52:00 CST — by: Clesi Bennett, C'13, Sustainability Post-Baccalaureate Fellow
Sewanee's Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability got the chance to sit down with B. Suzi Ruhl, JD, MPH, Senior Attorney Advisor, Office of Environmental Justice, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to discuss a myriad of issues relating to sustainability.
Suzi Ruhl is currently Senior Attorney Advisor for the US EPA Office of Environmental Justice. In this capacity, she works to integrate environmental justice in agency decision-making, supports community based action, and fosters administration wide action that promotes healthy, equitable, resilient and sustainable communities for overburdened populations. She is Co-Chair of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Committee of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice and is Co-Chair of Team-EJ of the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities. Since her arrival to EPA in 2009, Ruhl has won three National Honor Awards: 2010 Gold Medal for the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities; 2011 Gold Medal for Mountain Top Mining Guidance Team; and, 2011 Silver Medal for Keystone Pipeline NEPA Review.
On Wednesday February 19th, Ruhl gave a public talk on "Environmental Justice: Honoring the Past and Shaping the Future." Over breakfast the next morning, Sewanee's Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability team and Ruhl discussed various topics, including the environmental situation of the United States today, the EPA's role in sustainability, the connections among human health, community development, environmental justice, and sustainability, and opportunities for activism and change in this region. The group left energized, uplifted, and ready to take action!