Northwest Toxic Communities Coalition connect with and empowers communities impacted by toxic waste share resources, information, and support for toxic cleanup efforts throughout the Northwest states.
Board of Directors
Darlene Schanfald cofounded the NWTCC in 2007. She has served as its President and its Treasurer.
Since 1985 she has worked on an array of environmental issues including:
- Board Member of the Olympic Environmental Council
- Protect the Peninsula’s Future
- North Olympic Group of Sierra Club.
Over the years, Darlene has led campaigns against chemical control of roadside vegetation, Washington State Parks ceding land to corporations, U.S. funding food irradiation plants, and aquaculture. Upon the company’s closure, she initiated the Rayonier Port Angeles Pulp Mill hazardous waste cleanup in Port Angeles Harbor.
Darlene received her B.A. in Psychology and Pre-Social Welfare from UCLA and her PH.D. from the Wright Institute Graduate School in Berkeley CA. She did postdoctoral work in Linguistics at Brown University and research with aphasia patients at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Jamaica Plains MA and the University of Mississippi Medical Center while on staff with the Sleep Disorders Clinic.
John Shaw is an active member of NWTCC. He organized a solar association and taught solar home design courses in the 70’s while instructing apprentices for industry. John has been active in solar and environmental projects for over 40 years. Environmental issues have been his focus throughout his career. John is a senior member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, a retired electrician, certified welding inspector/instructor, and has a master’s degree in education. He is a former chair of NWTCC.
Barbara Miller is the Director of the Silver Valley Community Resource Center (SVCRC) since 1994 and cofounded NWTCC in 2007. Along with national and international medical lead experts, she established the Children Run Better Unleaded Project, the proactive lead health intervention in the Bunker Hill Superfund site. The SVCRC created the Idaho Lead Oversight Committee.
She began environmental justice work in what is now the nation’s largest Superfund Site, 1500 sq. miles, stretching from Idaho/Montana border into Washington State, in 1986. The epicenter is a 21 sq. mile area with four towns, 5000 men, women, and children that was designated as a Superfund Site in 1983. The site is also a National Historic Landmark, Old Mission of the Sacred Heart and the oldest building in Idaho. Part of an Idaho State Park, the Superfund Site is on the Coeur d’Alene tribe’s ancestral land.
With grassroots work — doorknocking, education, and outreach — and working within mandated EPA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), affected citizens throughout the site are working for accountability and closure of a 21-acre toxic waste dump where tons of contamination continue to wash downstream to the Coeur d’Alene River. They are also seeking funding for a Community Lead Health Center.
In addition to 35 years of environmental justice work, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Administration, CNA, Medical Assistant, and is certified in Indoor Environmental and Technologies and Environmental Laws and Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Barbara has worked extensively with psychologically and physically challenged individuals within institutions nationally, regionally, and local health agencies including:
- Center for Disease Control
- Agency for Toxic Substance Disease Registry (ATSDR)
- Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare
- UofW Superfund Research Program
- Montefiore Medical Center at Albert Einstein University
- Leadership of Changing World Program, New York University.
Barbara’s involvement with the Willamette River superfund cleanup spans 15 years and stems from her role as chair of the Cathedral Park Neighborhood Association adjacent to the site. She served 10 years as a volunteer board member in the Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group leading up to the EPA Record of Decision in 2017. During her ten years on the board, she organized a petition against a toxic waste dump in a river inlet, a proposal that was later withdrawn, and organized community feedback on the Record of Decision.
Patty Martin, a former Mayor of Quincy, WA, was instrumental in exposing the practice of disposing of hazardous waste as fertilizer. The events that took place are chronicled in a Seattle Times’ investigative series “Fear in the Fields: How Hazardous Waste Becomes Fertilizer” and a book titled “Fateful Harvest, the True Story of a Small Town, a Global Industry, and Toxic Secret”.
Together with a retired art teacher, Martin challenged air quality permits being issued to multiple data centers located in Quincy that were being permitted to operate locomotive-sized diesel engines for backup power without the use of pollution controls. Their involvement resulted in controls being placed on subsequent engines.
Martin is the mother of four adult children and a graduate of Gonzaga University with a B.S. in Biology.
Patty currently serves as President of the NWTCC.