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What does environmental justice look like in Vermont: Addressing structural racism in Vermont for a resilient future

This survey is part of research looking into community experiences of social, environmental and health concerns in Vermont. Vermont is one of eight US states that does not have an environmental justice policy. Your feedback and input will inform the framing of an environmental justice policy for the state.

Principal Investigator (PI): Bindu Panikkar (RSENR, UVM), Ingrid Nelson (Geography, UVM)

External Collaborators: Jennifer Rushlow (Vermont Law School), Shaina Kasper (Toxics Action Center), Kesha Ram (Center for Whole Communities), Sandrine Kibuey (Mobile Homes Program)

Funder: Environmental Studies Program, Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources


We are looking into environmental injustices in Vermont and inequitable distribution of environmental services in the state.

This study is being conducted by Prof. Bindu Panikkar at the University of Vermont, Prof. Jennifer Rushlow at the Vermont Law School and the Toxics Action Center, Center for Whole Communities, and the Mobile Home Program.

This survey is open to participants aged 18 years or older. It will take approximately twenty minutes or less.


Prior research has shown that low-income communities and communities of color face some of the worst environmental and health issues in the country. Few studies have looked into environmental and social inequities in Vermont. This project explores the environmental, social and health problems you face in Vermont, how these injustices affect your life and your community, and how can these injustices be addressed by policy making and law. We encourage your participation in this research study to develop a comprehensive EJ policy in Vermont.

Study Procedures

This survey will take approximately twenty minutes or less. The questions asked will include your views on environmental justice issues including food insecurity, housing, transportation, work, environment, climate, access to social services and health in Vermont.

Your participation in this project is voluntary; you may choose not to participate. There are no benefits to participating. You have the option of not answering certain questions that do not apply to you or you may not be comfortable with. Interviews will later be entered into spreadsheet and analyzed. This survey enters data into a secure website, Lime Survey. Researchers will further secure data in a password-protected laptop, accessible only to IRB trained team members. Surveys conducted in total will include a total of 500 surveys. The surveys will also be conducted in-person at community events and door to door.


As a participant in this research study, there is no direct benefit for you; however, information from this study may benefit other people now or in the future.


We will do our best to protect the information we collect from you during this study. We will not collect any information that will identify you to further protect your confidentiality and minimize the potential risk for an accidental breach of confidentiality.


There will be no costs to you for participation in this research study.


Participants will not be paid.


Your part in this study will be confidential. Only the researchers, appointed designees and Institutional Review Boards will be granted access to research records.

Care will be taken to protect the confidentiality of all study materials. Participant information will be kept secure and protected, for up to 3 years after the completion of the study. De-identified data may be used for future research without additional consent.

A summary of the overall findings will be reported in the public meetings, news media and scientific journals and could be used to inform advocacy, and policy making. Your name and other identifying information will never be used in any reports or publications.

Voluntary Participation/Withdrawal

Taking part in this study is voluntary. You are free to not answer any questions or withdraw at any time. You may choose not to take part in this study, or if you decide to take part, you can change your mind later and withdraw from the study. If you would like to withdraw from the study please notify the researcher at the phone number or email below.

Thank you for taking time to share your views on environmental injustices that you or your community face. This information will help to identify key environmental justice issues in Vermont and to help frame environmental justice policies that reflects the need of the communities in Vermont.


If you have questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant, then you may contact the Director of the Research Protections Office at (802) 656-5040.

Research Team Contact Information

Bindu Panikkar (Research PI), Assistant Professor, Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont. Email: bpanikka@uvm.edu Tel: 617 776 3153;

Shaina Kasper (Community PI), Vermont State Director, Toxics Action Center. Email: shaina@toxicsaction.org Tel: 802 223 4099; 

Kesha Ram, Center for Whole Communities Email: kesha@wholecommunities.org Tel: 802-881-4433;

Sandrine Kibuey, Mobile Homes Program, CVOEO Email: skibuey@cvoeo.org Tel: 802 660 3455x105;

Jennifer Rushlow, Associate Dean of Environmental Programs, Vermont Law School, Email: jrushlow@VERMONTLAW.EDU Tel: 802 831 1136.

This survey is anonymous.

The record of your survey responses does not contain any identifying information about you, unless a specific survey question explicitly asked for it.

If you used an identifying token to access this survey, please rest assured that this token will not be stored together with your responses. It is managed in a separate database and will only be updated to indicate whether you did (or did not) complete this survey. There is no way of matching identification tokens with survey responses.