Putting Community First: A Promising Approach to Federal Collaboration for Environmental Improvement: An Evaluation of the Community Action for a Renewed Environment Demonstration Program

May 2009 - This report is an independent evaluation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Demonstration Program, a community-driven process that uses the best available data to help communities set priorities and take action on their greatest environmental risks.

CARE fosters local partnerships that seek participation from business, government, organizations, residents and EPA staff. It also supports a public, transparent planning and implementation process based on collaborative decision-making and shared action.

Key Findings

The National Academy Panel overseeing this effort was impressed by the dedication of the EPA staff to this unique initiative and commended the EPA for its efforts to partner with communities in achieving important long-term and sustainable environmental improvements at the local level. Recommended actions for the CARE Program include: (1) develop and implement a multifaceted information sharing approach; (2) coordinate and refine internal program management activities; and (3) develop a strategic plan and a business plan for CARE.