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EPA Science Matters: December 19, 2017

EPA scientist Dr. Gerald Ankley was selected as a Distinguished Rank Recipient for the Presidential Rank Awards. As an EPA employee of 29-years, Dr. Ankley has represented the highest standard of elite researchers in the field of environmental science. You may have read some of his work in Science Matters earlier this year on discovering the causes of feminized fish.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances can make products stain-resistant, waterproof, and nonstick. These chemicals, known as PFAS, do not break down easily in the environment and can build up in exposed organisms, like fish and wildlife, over time. EPA has launched a cross-agency effort to help communities across the country address these chemicals in their environment.

Last year, Congress passed a bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which helps EPA protect American families from the potential health effects of chemicals. To make sure TSCA is enforced effectively, EPA requires the best scientific data on chemical safety. EPA researchers are developing and improving tools to provide chemical data and help implement TSCA.

EPA and partners announced the second phase of the Advanced Septic System Nitrogen Sensor Challenge. The goal of the challenge is to inspire technology innovators to develop a sensor to monitor nitrogen discharged from advanced septic systems. Submissions are due by the end of January 2018.

Honor a student or teacher for their contribution to the environment. The President's Environmental Youth Award recognizes outstanding environmental projects to promote environmental awareness by K-12 youth. The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students. Applications are due March 1, 2018.

EPA has released the final Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Sulfur Oxides (SOx)- Health Criteria, representing the Agency’s latest evaluation of the scientific literature on potential human health effects associated with sulfur oxides. ISA reports provide the scientific foundation used to set the National Ambient Air Quality Standards