EPA’s First Health Impact Assessment: Schools and Health
The EPA Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program is pleased to announce the launch of EPA's first Health Impact Assessment (HIA), and the first school-focused HIA in this emerging field.
An HIA is a relatively new decision-making tool that asks how proposed decisions may impact health and well-being. HIAs consider potential consequences of decisions, include input from the people impacted by the decision, are flexible based on timelines and resources, consider different types of evidence, and provide timely recommendations to decision-makers.
The HIA for the Gerena Elementary School in Springfield, MA is a collaboration between EPA and stakeholders including the Massachusetts Departments of Public Health and Environmental Protection (DPH and DEP), city, school, and community groups.
The purpose of this HIA is to provide and help process information to help the City of Springfield narrow down the options for renovation and improvement at the Gerena School to those that will best address environmental problems and reduce potential negative health impacts, such as asthma exacerbations. The school is directly under a highway and adjacent to roadways and a railway, so the project will consider transportation-related indoor air exposures as well as those from flooding, moisture, mold and other indoor environment issues in the school. In addition, EPA will learn how its science can be used in the HIA process and incorporate HIA into its decision-support tools.
For additional information please contact Valerie Zartarian (firstname.lastname@example.org), Emily Zimmerman (email@example.com), or Florence Fulk (firstname.lastname@example.org.)