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Whitman Outlines President's Commitment of Nearly $70 Million to Address Children's Health Issues

Release Date: 02/04/2003
Contact Information:

Contact: Wanda Loving 202-564-7822 /loving.wanda@epa.gov


(02/04/03) EPA Administrator Christie Whitman, during a visit today to Pittsburgh, Pa., outlined the President’s proposed FY2004 budget of $69.7 million to address environmental threats to children’s health. This includes $6.4 million—an increase of nine percent over the previous year’s proposed budget—for ongoing work and research. Specifically, that includes an additional $3 million for the agency’s efforts on children’s asthma, including the successful Tools for Schools program which helps schools across the country assess and improve the quality of air their students breathe.

Whitman spoke at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

“A budget is really a policy document—and the policies the President’s proposed budget supports demonstrate our commitment to cleaner and healthier air for all Americans, especially the most vulnerable among us, our children,” said Whitman. “There is more we can do to help keep our children healthy – and thanks to the President’s proposed budget, we will get the resources we need to do the job right.”

The $3 million increase for children’s asthma programs will bring the total funding for asthma to $24 million. Also, an additional $2.8 million has been requested by the President to expand research focused on the susceptibility and exposure of children to environmental pollutants. An additional more than half a million dollars has also been requested for outreach and education, implementation of regulations and risk assessment in the area of children’s lead risk reduction.

In 2000, the National Academy of Sciences affirmed the significance of indoor triggers of asthma and the alarming increase in asthma rates nationwide. Nearly one in 13 school-aged children have asthma. The estimated cost to the nation is $14 billion. EPA has mounted an aggressive program to reduce children’s exposure to asthma triggers both outdoors and in schools, homes and day care centers.

“The President’s proposed budget fully reflects the obligation we all have—government, industry, indeed every American—to be good, faithful stewards of the natural environment entrusted to us,” said Whitman.

For more information on the President’s proposed budget for EPA, see: www.epa.gov/ocfo.



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