NEHA October 2022 Journal of Environmental Health

October 2022 • Journal of Environmental Health 63 NEHA NEWS e ciency, clean transportation, data collection and analysis, and air quality monitoring and reporting. “This legislation acknowledges the profound impacts of climate change on human health and the importance of funding the communities and experts who are on the front lines of mitigating and adapting to these impacts,” said Dr. David Dyjack, NEHA executive director. “The environmental public health professionals who monitor our air, test our water, and stop the spread of disease in the environment are more important than ever.” The act ultimately aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions contribute to changes in the environment such as worsening air pollution that subsequently increases respiratory and cardiovascular conditions like asthma and heart disease, or increased precipitation giving rise to ideal conditions for the development and spread of animal-borne diseases. The act is also aligned with NEHA’s Climate Change Policy Statement (www.neha.org/sites/default/files/publications/positionpapers/NEHA-Policy-Statement-Climate-Change-Oct2020.pdf) that advocates for funding for local and state public health departments and environmental and health agencies so they can support communities to: • Conduct risk assessments and establish plans to anticipate risks for adaptation and build resilience for future generations. • Incorporate green space and other technologies into the built environment to help reduce urban heat island e’ects since urban areas are usually warmer than adjacent rural areas. • Conserve and replenish water sources. In many regions, groundwater sources have been depleted; flooding and drought can a’ect both the level and quality of remaining surface water sources. • Address the need for more funding and local data. • Take a multidisciplinary and global approach to addressing climate change to make incremental changes. • Create a whole community approach to engage and empower the entire community. • Strengthen community resilience to climate-related events. • Collect baseline rates of disease and examine exposure outcome associations to quantify the impacts of climate change on health and determine direct attribution. • Reduce barriers, share best practices, and evaluate metrics through stakeholder engagement strategies. • Work with the Climate and Health Program within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop climate-ready states and cities. Introduction of the Food Safety Administration Act of 2022 On July 13, 2022, House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined together to introduce a bicameral (i.e., both U.S. Senate and House of Representatives) bill to establish a single food safety agency at the federal level. The Food Safety Administration Act of 2022 (www.gov track.us/congress/bills/117/hr8358) would create the Food Safety Administration, a single food safety agency responsible for keeping the food in our nation safe to consume. This bill seeks to streamline the response of the federal government to food safety concerns with a single agency dedicated to safe food. The bill would establish the Food Safety Administration under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by incorporating into this new and separate agency the existing food programs within FDA, including the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the food safety responsibilities of the O ce of Regulatory A’airs. The new agency would be led by a food safety expert confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Environmental Justice Webinar One of the foremost concerns of the Biden Administration is rectifying past environmental injustices. During a webinar on August 30, 2022, Dr. Sharunda Buchanan, interim director for the O ce of Environmental Justice within HHS, spoke on e’orts to integrate environmental justice into the department’s mission to improve health. In the webinar, Dr. Buchanan discussed the e’orts of her o ce to: • Lead initiatives that integrate environmental justice into the HHS mission to improve health in communities across the nation. • Advise senior leadership at the O ce of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH) and HHS on environmental justice and health issues. • Provide leadership and subject matter expertise to develop and implement an HHS-wide strategy on environmental justice and health. • Represent OASH and HHS at agency and interagency settings. A recording of the webinar can be viewed at www.neha.org/ government-a’airs-webinars. Successful Training With the Guam Department of Environmental Health Sta from the Guam Department of Environmental Health discuss water safety principles at water vending and manufacturing facilities within their jurisdiction. Photo courtesy of Christopher Walker. On July 18–20, 2022, we provided a 3-day training in Guam to the Guam Department of Environmental Health workforce on water vending and manufacturing facilities. The training included education aimed at assisting the Guam team in regu-

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