EPA Week In Review 9/30 - 10/4
Another busy week at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)! Just this morning, EPA joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in announcing President Donald Trump's successfully negotiated agreement on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The much-anticipated deal was met with widespread praise from lawmakers throughout the Corn Belt.
In other news, October is Children's Health Month at the EPA. Administrator Wheeler kicked off the month at the Mid-Atlantic Lead Forum on Tuesday, where he touted the agency's successes with regard to the Trump Administration's Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts (released in December 2018). EPA also released a booklet entitled Protecting Children's Health, October 2019, to highlight major local and national initiatives and accomplishments to promote children's health and healthy learning environments.
EPA continued the theme of Children's Health throughout the week. On Wednesday, EPA Administrator Wheeler announced the release of a new EPA booklet, Supporting Healthy Houses of Worship: Effective, Affordable Measures to Protect the Health of Congregations and Staff on a call with faith-based leaders throughout the country. On Thursday, EPA announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further support efforts that reduce lead in drinking water at schools and child care facilities. This new MOU provides a framework for a coordinated approach between more than a dozen critical partners across the federal government, tribes, water utilities and the public health community.
Additionally, EPA announced the availability of approximately $10 million in grant funding to public school bus fleet owners under Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) appropriations. These DERA grants will enable schools to upgrade buses with older engines, reducing diesel emissions and providing for safer, cleaner and more reliable rides to school.
On the horizon...
Go West, Young Man... Next week, Administrator Wheeler will kick off his Midwest swing in Bismarck, North Dakota with Senator Cramer for a roundtable discussion on WOTUS.
Today, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue issued the following statements after announcing President Donald J. Trump's successfully negotiated agreement on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):
"President Trump's leadership has led to an agreement that continues to promote domestic ethanol and biodiesel production, supporting our Nation's farmers and providing greater energy security," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "Today's agreement is the latest in a series of steps we have taken to expand domestic energy production and improve the RFS program that will result in sustained biofuel production to help American farmers."
"President Trump has once again demonstrated that he is a champion for our nation's farmers and rural America," said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. "The President recognizes that American farmers are the most productive in the world, and he has found a way to pursue policy that promotes economic growth and supports our producers."
Read our WTAS here.
Children's Health Kick-Off
At the Mid-Atlantic Forum on Monday, EPA Administrator Wheeler kicked off Children's Health Month and outlined the primary goals of the Federal Lead Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposure.
- Reduce Children's Exposure to Lead Sources: The plan details specific actions to target lead-based paint, lead in drinking water, and lead-contaminated soil, among other sources. By focusing on the source of the problem, we can address the contamination before it impacts children.
- Identify Lead-Exposed Children and Improve their Health Outcome: The Action Plan lays out ways to expand lead testing and then ensure that children who are identified as lead-exposed get the help and care they need. Early identification is critical. It allows healthcare providers to intervene sooner and improve the life outcomes of affected children.
- Communicate More Effectively with Stakeholders: The reality is that risk communication disproportionately impacts people at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder. They are the ones who often live, work, or go to school near industrial facilities or areas with environmental hazards. They are most impacted by how well - or poorly - we communicate health risks.The Action Plan identifies ways to streamline and improve federal messaging on the dangers of lead exposure, particularly to minority communities and those with limited English proficiency.
- Support and Conduct Critical Research to Inform Efforts to Reduce Lead Exposures and Related Health Risks: EPA scientists work closely with our state and local partners to identify high-risk areas and provide technical assistance, as requested. With respect to research, our goal is to generate better data and better maps so we can pinpoint high-exposure communities and target resources to them quickly and effectively.
On Thursday, EPA announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further support efforts that reduce lead in drinking water at schools and child care facilities. The commitments made in this MOU will provide safer and healthier environments for children across the country. One existing effort that is further supported by this MOU is EPA's 3Ts-training, testing and taking action-for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in School and Child Care Facilities.
Healthy Tips for Children's Health
In celebration of Children's Health Month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a poster of tips to keep children and families safe from environmental hazards. A few helpful tips...
- Spend Time Outdoors: Go on a walk, bike ride, garden, spend time at the beach, etc. Find a new favorite outdoor activity for your family to do outdoors.
- Eat Fruits and Vegetables Safely: Wash and scrub fruits and vegetables under cold running water and peel them whenever possible to get rid of dirt, bacteria and residue pesticides.
- Protect Children from Lead in Soil: Lead in soil can be ingested as a result of hand-to-mouth activity that is common for young children - remember to wash your child's hands after they come in from playing.
- Keep Your Home Pest-Free: Pests need food, water, and shelter just like we do. To keep pests in check, get rid of clutter, empty garbage often, fix leaks, and keep food in tightly sealed containers.
See the full list of tips here.
Tweets of the Week