Healthy Port Communities

APA Texas Chapter


Friday, October 19, 2018
2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. CDT

CM | 1.50

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With the expansion of the Panama canal, a booming petrochemical industry, and projected population increases, how can ports and portside communities plan for reductions in freight-related emissions, enhanced chemical security, and economic and environmental justice? Panelists will discuss policies and practices to build healthier port communities and share case studies. Equity and resiliency will also be a focus of this panel.

Focusing largely on the Greater Houston Metropolitan region, this panel will hone in detail on environmental and economic justice issues in portside communities, and will highlight emerging technologies that improve air quality, including zero emissions technologies, alternative fuels, and practices to reduce idling and reduce congestion, as well as effective strategies for community engagement. The panel will also look into detail at what resilience looks like in communities that host one of the largest petrochemical complexes in the world, and face not only natural disasters like Harvey's flooding but also the impacts of the chemical and refining industries and the specific challenges they offer to resiliency.

Attendees will learn:
- The challenges and intersecting issues prevalent in portside communities, including environmental and economic justice issues
- Opportunities and solutions to reduce air pollution as it relates to transportation/freight movement.
- Effective community engagement strategies to work toward mutually beneficial objectives
- Policies to enhance communities' safety and chemical security
- Strategies for resiliency that address broader issues


Stephanie Thomas

Researcher and Organizer with Public Citizen Dr. Stephanie Thomas is a researcher and a community organizer with Public Citizen, a national nonprofit group dedicated to representing the people’s voice in the halls of power. In Houston, Dr. Thomas advocates for reductions in diesel pollution and emissions of other air ... Read More

Bakeyah Nelson

Executive Director, Air Alliance Houston Dr. Bakeyah Nelson has been working to improve public health for the past several years in the Houston region. Prior to joining Air Alliance Houston, Dr. Nelson most recently served as a consultant working to advance dialogue about the policies and practices that produce health ... Read More

James Caldwell

Reverend Caldwell is a native Houstonian and has been a community advocate and activist for over 15 years. He is a graduate of Phyllis Wheatley High Schooland Texas Southern University’s School of Public Affairs. He also attended Dallas Theological Seminary and has been an ordained minister for over 28 ... Read More

Laura Cottingham

Lara Cottingham is the Chief of Staff & Chief Sustainability Officer for ARA, specializing in Sustainability and Strategic Customer Initiatives. Prior to joining the City of Houston, Lara was a member of Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Houston office, providing strategic counsel in sustainability and social responsibility issues for a broad range of ... Read More

Contact Info

Barbara Holly,