888 4 ENV EDU

March Madness!


Crazy as it sounds, environmental health and safety seems to have become rather unpopular these last few months. Perhaps it’s the economy, the election or global warming, but it seems like we’re in for a major shift in emphasis on environmental health.

Here’s a couple examples;
Congress and the Administration dealt a devastating blow this year to the fight against childhood lead poisoning.

According to the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH), the final appropriations bill for fiscal 2012 provides about $2 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. That is down from $29 million in fiscal 2011. Nearly a half million children rely on the services of this program, which funds 35 state health departments and their local partners to monitor blood-lead screening and respond to every child who has an elevated blood-lead level with a home inspection and referrals for medical intervention and lead remediation. The program also prevents the disease through housing policies, community education and outreach. Take a look at this presentation in our E-Library that defines the issues and the impact it will have on our communities.

NCHH and other groups, including the Lead & Environmental Hazard Association (LEHA) have spearheaded the effort to restore funding cuts. Efforts include a lobby day earlier this month, a media blitz (which resulted in a piece on the NBC Morning news) and a call in/contact campaign targeting Federal officials. You can help by calling or writing a letter to your Senator or Representative and ask them to support restoration of the CDC Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in the FY 2013 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations bill to the FY 2011 level of $29.257 million. Visit NCHH for more information on how to best reach your congressional representative.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) have produced a Senate “Dear Colleague” letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting that funding for the Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at the CDC be restored, and funding for the Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) be maintained. Local WNY Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-28th NY) has generated a similar letter for House members to sign. The more Senators and Representatives that sign on to the letters, the better chance the Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program will be restored. You can find out how to contact your representative here.

Changes to ICR56 are expected late this year.

New York State asbestos regulations are in for a major shake-up this year, according to Chris Alonge of the NYS DOL Engineering Services Bureau. Lead poisoning prevention efforts are already in upheaval, with major budget reductions underway at the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other Federal and state agencies.

The State DOL is shepherding significant changes through the regulatory process, according to Mr. Alonge. Most deal with fire, life & safety issues, designed to reinforce existing building code and fire planning standards. Those involved in design and management of asbestos abatement projects will have to demonstrate that removal projects are done in a way that ensures that all existing precautions are in place should an emergency occur.

Attendees at our asbestos refreshers can expect a detailed discussion on the proposed changes that affect stakeholders already in the industry. You can also review the latest NYSDOL presentation at our website library.
Spring is always busy at EEA, and the warm weather seems to have kicked off an early construction season. Now’s a great time to gear up for the season by getting that certification or recertification you know you’ll need. Here’s a couple upcoming, high demand courses:

Asbestos Inspector Initial in Rochester

Asbestos Project Designer and Operations and Maintenance Intials in Buffalo

Lead Renovator Intials in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Utica
Also, our raffle winner for this week is Mike Tartaglia.

Keep those entries coming.

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