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Round 2-7a: Training and Health Service Assistance to Communities


Reform Description
EPA and the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) established the Medical Assistance Plan (MAP) to respond to the health concerns of under-served citizens living near hazardous waste sites. The primary goals of this initiative are to:
  • Improve delivery of existing medical services to communities with potential exposures to hazardous substances.

  • Build environmental health expertise in communities through physician training and placement.
The first phase of MAP implementation assessed the health care needs and concerns of the community and evaluated nearby primary care capacities.

The second phase, according to the community's need for assistance and the availability of budget and personnel services, provided:

  • Physician training and placement;

  • Medical testing to assess health affects related to hazardous substance exposure;

  • Technical assistance to local agencies and health care providers;

  • Environmental health education to health care providers;

  • Referral services to assist individuals in locating medical specialty clinics or specialists; and

  • Medical follow-up for individuals who demonstrate documented exposure to hazardous substances or adverse health conditions related to possible exposures.
A third phase included an evaluation of the effectiveness of the results. The Agency tested the MAP program at various Superfund sites, and worked to secure funding to finance additional pilot projects.

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Reform Status
check mark Implementation of this reform is complete.

EPA phased out the Medical Assistance Plan project.

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Results
In the summer of 1994, EPA requested assistance from PHS to respond to health concerns of communities near hazardous waste sites. In response to this request, the Superfund Medical Assistance Work Group (SMAWG) was established to develop the Medical Assistance Plan (MAP).

SMAWG has outlined three phases of the MAP. Four sites have been targeted for program testing, and EPA designated $400,000 for MAP implementation at the Del Amo/Montrose site in Torrence, California (see Success Stories below).

EPA phased out the Medical Assistance Plan project. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry provides ongoing support to communities through referrals to the national network of Association of Occupational and Health Clinics and by providing physician education, training, and support related to health impacts from environmental exposures.

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Success Stories
Del Amo and Montrose Sites, Los Angeles, CA

In FY95, EPA obligated $400,000 in project funding at the Del Amo and Montrose sites in Los Angeles, California (see the site fact sheet and/or the Region 9 site overview).

EPA Region 9 and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry worked closely with clinic physicians to determine the need for environmental sampling to respond to clinic results.

Some residents were temporarily relocated by EPA, and have now been permanently relocated by Del Amo PRPs. [FY97 Success]

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