Region 8

Office of Communications and Public Involvement Organization


Paula Smith, Director
Mail Code 8OC

The communications specialists in the Office of Communication and Public Involvement (OCPI) have daily contact with key publics, from communities and congressional offices to local, national and worldwide media outlets.

The communications office encompasses seven distinct areas of staff expertise. Contact names are provided for each area in the table below. An overview of the OCPI services and goals, and a brief description of work done in each specialty area are provided at the links at left.

FOIA – Freedom of Information Act
Wendy Dew

Public Affairs and Involvement
Libby Faulk

Environmental Education
Wendy Dew

Congressional Relations
Whitney Trulove-Cranor

Environmental Information Service Center & Library
Caroline Williams


Region 8 Organization - Office of Communications
Office of the OCPI Director

Director: Paula Smith - 303-312-6630

With near instantaneous transmission of information prevalent in today's society, communicating our activities, programs and environmental issues has taken on an even higher priority than in the past. Important actions we take or issues we are involved in often receive publicity, but it is not always the right kind or aimed at the right people.

The Office of Communication and Public Involvement's PURPOSE is to provide a broad range of information services to the Regional Administrator,the Programs, State and Federal Agencies, Congress, Headquarters and the public. OCPI specialists must have a "BIG PICTURE" vision to deal with Agency issues in their economic, environmental, social, political, State, Tribal, public and media contexts.

In addition to media relations specialists and a congressional liaison, OCPI staff administer the Environmental Education program and work as community relations specialists to assist technical project managers. Other information specialists provide information via a toll free telephone line, a technical library, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process, and via this Internet website.

Region 8 Organization - Office of Communications
Media & Public Relations Office

Media Officers
Rich Mylott (303-312-6654), Lisa McClain-Vanderpool (303-312-6077)

Region 8 - News Releases

The Media Officers:

  • advise and consult with RA and programs on media and public relations issues, including development of communication strategies.
  • develop and produce a wide assortment of outreach materials, including: news releases, fact sheets, speeches, briefing materials, letters-to-the-editor, guest editorial opinions or perspectives, informational brochures, position statements, background summaries, magazine feature articles, public service announcements for radio and television, etc.
  • coach and train staff and managers in media relations, news writing and interviewing skills.
  • act as agency spokespersons on issues involving all programs, coordinate interviews and news conferences for reporters from all media.
  • provide electronic news clipping service on regional environmental issues.
  • analyze news coverage and public reaction to EPA actions and develop agency responses to questions about our involvement in particular issues.
  • handle more than 2,000 reporter and public inquiries annually.

Region 8 Organization - Office of Communications
Community Involvement Office

Contact: Libby Faulk – 303-312-6083

The Community Involvement Staff Members:

  • act as advocates/consultants/advisors on community involvement issues and advise project managers and team members on community involvement aspects of project work. Ensure programs are responsive to affected parties.
  • assist in developing communication strategies for projects, and tailor community involvement to project-specific needs.
  • meet the communication requirements of the Superfund law for the sites in the Region's six states. Staff also carry out some of RCRA's community relations responsibilities.
  • assure that all community involvement statutory and policy requirements are met by conducting meetings and interviewing residents of communities.
  • respond to media/public inquiries and prepare outreach materials targeted to communities, media and specialized groups.
  • advocate two-way communication and participation of citizens, communities, interest groups, states, tribes, local governments and other federal agencies in the EPA actions.
  • coordinate international dignitary visits.
  • provide briefing materials for programs and senior leadership, help develop Regional briefings summarizing contentious issues, as well as provide vital details and statistics about each state within the Region.
  • coach and train Regional staff in all community involvement aspects.

Region 8 Organization - Office of Communications
Congressional Liaison Office

Contact: Whitney Trulove-Cranor – 303-312-6099

  • manages approximately 250 contacts per year from the Region's U.S. senators, representatives and their staffs—directly or in concert with program officials.
  • coordinates the preparation of briefing materials for EPA senior managers including political analysis.
  • arranges informational briefings for congressional staff.
  • assists in developing and implementing communication strategies.
  • directs Regional review of proposed national legislation and its likely effects on Region 8 EPA.
  • provides information to constituents and congressional delegation staff and relays their comments and questions to EPA management and staff.
    trains Regional staff in congressional relations.

Region 8 Organization - Office of Communications

Environmental Information Service Center (EISC)

Contact: Caroline Williams - 303-312-6299

Region 8 Library and EISC Website

  • handles more than 50,000 public inquiries per year.
  • provides staff contacts and informational material in response to questions from the public covering all program areas.
  • operates Regional environmental library facility that offers extensive research materials.
  • maintains a repository for EPA-produced informational publications.
  • assists small businesses in finding technical and compliance assistance within the agency.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office

Contact: Wendy Dew - 303-312-6605; fax 303-312-6169

FOIA home page

  • manages, coordinates and processes all Region 8 FOIA requests
  • provides technical assistance and guidance to the public as well as Region 8 staff regarding all aspects of the Freedom of Information Act

Regional Internet Website Coordination

Contact: Tim Davis - 303-312-6531

  • advises and provides direction on design and layout of Regional website.
  • provides oversight reviews of documents submitted for placement on the website for accuracy and relevancy.
  • ensures website format and materials comply with federal and EPA laws and guidelines.

Region 8 Organization - Office of Communications
Environmental Education and Outreach Office

Contact: Wendy Dew – 303-312-6605

Region 8 Outreach and Education Website

This office:

  • manages environmental education (EE) grants and contracts for the Region.
  • provides EE guidance for educators.
  • develops EE partnerships with state, tribal and federal partners.
  • manages the president's Environmental Youth Award Program and the Region's Speakers Bureau.