Children's Health Protection
Response from Administrator Jackson to Dr. Melanie Marty re: Recommendations for Agency Actions Related to Children's Health
Melanie A. Marty, Ph.D.
Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee
Office of Environmental Protection Agency
1515 Clay Street, 16th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
Dear Dr. Marty:
Thank you for your letter and for the Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee’s continuing support of the Agency's commitment to protecting children's environmental health. Clearly, children's health protection is critically important. I am confident that EPA will be a leader on children's environmental health issues, in the United States and internationally, working in concert with federal partners, states, tribes and local communities to advance this important work.
I agree with you on the importance of interagency collaboration on children's environmental health issues, and I am reestablishing a pivotal children's environmental health role for EPA with other federal departments and agencies addressing issues of air pollution, clean drinking and surface water, safe chemicals, and land management and global climate change. In addition, we are redoubling our efforts to work with states, Tribes and local government authorities to ensure that children are provided with a healthy environment where they live, learn, work and play. For example, we continue to focus on developing the school siting guidelines called for in the Energy Independence and Security Act. We are also focusing on promoting healthy home environments by working closely with the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services, in collaboration with local communities.
As you know, I have appointed Dr. Peter Grevatt as Director of EPA's Office of Children’s Health Protection and Environmental Education. Peter will serve as one of my key advisors and will lead the Agency's efforts to ensure that all of our actions include a careful consideration of the special vulnerabilities of children. I appreciate the CHPAC's work with Peter over the past couple of months to review important past recommendations and discuss future directions for EPA on children's environmental issues.
I will briefly outline below the 5-part strategy that EPA will pursue to ensure protection of children's environmental health. In the coming years, we will look to the CHPAC for your assistance, as appropriate, in each of these activities.
EPA Five-Point Agenda for Children's Environmental Health
- Regulations and Policy Development
Proactively identify approaches to ensure protection of children's health in development of regulations and policy with significant children's environmental health implications.
- Chemicals Management and Toxic Substances Control Act Reform
Work with stakeholders to ensure consideration of children's exposures and vulnerabilities in chemical evaluations under the Toxic Substances Control Act and work with Congress, if requested, to identify effective approaches to ensure protection of children's health in the context of TSCA reform.
- Implementation of Community-based Children's Health Programs
Collaborate with other federal agencies and departments, states, tribes and local environment and public health authorities to expand implementation of successful community-based programs to improve children's health outcomes with a focus on underserved communities, including tribes.
- Research and Science Policy
- Work closely with external research partners to fill critical data gaps on children's vulnerabilities and exposures.
- Collaborate with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and international research organizations on the National Children's Study and other longitudinal children’s environmental health studies.
- Conduct a cross-agency science policy dialogue to identify risk assessment approaches when health outcomes for children are uncertain.
- Measure Effectiveness of EPA's Children's health Activities
- Set appropriate goals for measuring the effectiveness of EPA's expanding role in protecting children’s environmental health.
- Work with EPA's National Program Managers to develop priorities and goals for children's environmental health through NPM guidance and state/tribal agreements.
Lisa P. Jackson