FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 6, 2013
NORTHWEST DISTRICT HOSTS OPEN HOUSE TO EDUCATE COMMUNITY PARTNERS ON DEP PROGRAMS
While some of the more than 80 guests perused informational booths, others used the opportunity to talk one-on-one with District staff.
PANAMA CITY – Today, the Florida Department
of Environmental Protection's Northwest District Panama City branch office hosted more than 80 community
members at an open house event aimed at growing the community’s awareness of
the organization’s mission, increasing communication and developing
collaborative relationships with community partners.
Guests were invited to
the Northwest District’s Panama City office to meet the Panama City office staff,
District Director Shawn Hamilton and new Assistant Director Ben Blitch. Experts
from each of the District's regulatory programs -- Waste, Air, Water,
Environmental Resources Permitting and Compliance Assurance -- attended to
answer questions and provide information on their respective programs.
environmental protection through regulatory consistency, accountability and
partnerships with our stakeholders,” said Hamilton. “I appreciate opportunities
like this one today which allow me, and the District’s staff, to hear
first-hand how our stakeholders think we are doing and what they think we can
Attendees also had an
opportunity to learn more about the Department's online resources. As the
Department continues its efforts to become paperless, many forms and records
are now available online. Staff provided overviews of what is available and
showed those who were interested how to access those databases.
Most importantly, the
Northwest District open house provided an opportunity for the District to
receive feedback. The Department is constantly looking for ways to improve
services and informational exchanges, such as this open house forum. The
feedback received helps drive strategy moving forward.
those who were unable to attend today's open house event, the Northwest
District Tallahassee office will also be hosting the public in the coming