Eight universities in total were selected to help improve public health data and research as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) University Challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to develop practical and replicable projects focused on pollution prevention, sustainability, community engagement, and technology for improving the presentation and understanding of TRI data.
UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability TRI University Challenge project seeks to advance the knowledge, use, and understanding of TRI data to promote more informed decision-making and action on the part of communities and manufacturers. The objective of the project is to issue an annual rating of manufacturing facilities in the Greater Los Angeles Area and to participate in the development of comprehensive maps of the Greater Los Angeles use of resources. This project will further environmental education by integrating TRI information into university training. Participation in the challenge will present students with the opportunity to work on environmental issues with a government agency. The project will be conducted as part of the Institute's Practicum in Environmental Science — the capstone educational experience for the Environmental Science major. A team of students directed by Professor Magali Delmas, in collaboration with IoES faculty members Mark Gold and Stephanie Pincetl, will focus on the project for a full academic year. Practicum Coordinator Travis Longcore will also help guide the student team as the project progresses.
Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Environmental Information Renee P. Wynn said, "Through the TRI University Challenge, we hope to raise student awareness of environmental data and programs while improving research on our environmental challenges to further our work to protect Americans’ health and the environment.”