Testimony and Briefs
DC Appleseed recommends addressing the lack of key details for meaningful public input and for potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to consider early restoration actions. Additionally, DC Appleseed recommends providing injury thresholds in the DAP, even at the preliminary level, to provide some guidance to the injury quantification.
COMMENTS: Provided by DC Appleseed’s Anacostia River project team on the Anacostia River Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) Draft Damage Assessment Plan (DAP) (September 14, 2023)
DC Appleseed does not endorse the use of the proposed guidance at any particular site of the river until we learn more about how the guidance will be applied, the views of the public, and how strictly DOEE will comply with the standards set out in the document, including the purpose of the reuse. However, we encourage DOEE to create a more robust and readable summary of the document which permits the public to engage more fully with this guidance. We additionally seek more information about when or how site-specific risk assessments will be made and the extent to which local communities will be involved in those decisions.
COMMENTS by DC Appleseed on June 16, 2022 to the Department of Energy & Environment regarding proposed guidance document on the beneficial reuse of dredged materials.
There needs to be a clarification regarding DC's existing Opioid Abatement Fund, as it is not located within DBH's FY 2024 Budget. Additionally, there should be significant allocations to the District's School-Based Behavioral Health ("SBBH") Expansion Program to guarantee stable wages for collaborating community-based organizations ("CBOs"), on top of continued support for DC's Syringe Service Programs ("SSPs").
TESTIMONY: Given by Scout Cheeks on March 29, 2023 to the DC Council Committee on Health, Department of Behavioral Health.
The direct service health care sector is in CRISIS. Across the country there is a serious problem in the shortage of home health workers (and other direct support professionals) who provide hands on services to senior and people with developmental and intellectual disabilities and in the District the problem is more acute. There is a shortage of workers and the pay is so low that dog walkers, delivery drivers and Amazon warehouse workers make more.
TESTIMONY: Given by Neil Richardson on February 9, 2022 to the DC Council Committee on Workforce Development.
DC Appleseed is very concerned by the provisions in the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Support Act of 2023 which would take funds intended for opioid abatement to make up the District’s budget shortfall. Due to litigation between the District and manufacturers of opioid drugs, DC will receive substantial funds to prevent, treat, and address opioid usage in DC. These opioid litigation proceeds should be used for their intended purposes – not for balancing the budget. DC Appleseed urges the DC Council to reject the Mayor’s proposed transfer of $2,082,410 from DC’s Opioid Abatement Fund to the unassigned fund balance of the General Fund.
TESTIMONY: Given by Vanessa Batters-Thompson on April 20, 2023 to the DC Council Committee of the Whole Regarding the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Support Act of 2023
DC Appleseed recommends revisions to the Plan to include enforceable benchmarks specifically on numerical contaminant targets, sediment re-sampling with new collection points after major flood events, and more.
COMMENTS: Provided by DC Appleseed’s Anacostia River project team on the Department of Energy & Environment’s Baseline/Performance Monitoring Plan for the Anacostia River Sediment Project (August 9, 2023)
DC Appleseed recommends that Dr. Bennett ensures all DC Public Schools (DCPS), public charter schools, and participating private schools offer STI and HIV education, as required by the Healthy Schools Act of 2018.
TESTIMONY: Given by Vanessa Batters-Thompson on October 5, 2023 to the DC Council Committee on Health Public Roundtable on PR25-0290: "Director of the Department of Health Dr. Ayanna Bennett Confirmation Resolution of 2023"
DC Appleseed recommends the following: 1. Improve wages and job quality for direct service health care workers. 2. Advocate for more resources for training and education providers to address retention challenges and chronic staffing shortages. 3. Reinvigorate the Board of Nursing to approve medication aide programs.