About the Office of Community Relations

What does a Community Relations Coordinator do?

Community relations coordinators participate in a broad range of tasks. The most recognizable part of their job is diversity. On a typical day, members of the Office of Community Relations:

  • Explain environmental laws and regulations to the public in plain language
  • Evaluate and respond to environmental complaints from citizens, environmental groups and local officials
  • Arrange and coordinate public meetings, hearings, workshops and conferences to address public concerns and to answer questions about Agency activities, such as pending permit decisions, site cleanups and new program initiatives
  • Write fact sheets, pamphlets, news releases and responsiveness summaries
  • Initiate media coverage and respond to follow-up inquiries
  • Participate in environmental education outreach activities
  • Precede or accompany technical staff into the field to help with property access, sampling and meetings with citizens, local officials and the regulated community.

Which Illinois EPA programs are supported by the Office of Community Relations?

Community relations coordinators are assigned to specific areas, but often work together on projects. This cross-training gives the community relations staff knowledge of each other's specialties and increases the services they can provide to the technical and legal staff.

The Office of Community Relations promotes outreach activities and fulfills, as needed, the public participation requirements for the following Illinois EPA programs:

  • Office of Pollution Prevention
  • Air Pollution Control Permit Section
  • Water Pollution Control Permit Section
  • Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program
  • Watershed Management Program
  • Land Pollution Control Permit Section
  • Remedial Project Management Section
  • Leaking Underground Storage Tank Section

Community relations coordinators assist elsewhere in the Agency on special projects involving environmental education, the Great Lakes, community development and how-to workshops.

What are the objectives of the Office of Community Relations?

Community relations coordinators encourage and facilitate communication between the public and the Illinois EPA. Our objectives are to:

  • Ensure that the public receives accurate and timely information about Agency activities.
  • Offer the public the opportunity to provide input on environmental decisions.
  • Foster communication between technical staff and the regulated community, local officials and citizens affected by Agency activities.
  • Identify and remove obstacles that interfere with the successful implementation of Agency programs.

If you would like help from the Office of Community Relations, please call (217) 782-7027