2007-10-12 / Community

Clinton Calls For Steps To Protect Health Of Children

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take the necessary steps to better protect the health of our nation's children.

In a letter to the EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, Clinton, who is actively seeking the Democratic Presidential nod, urged the agency to examine the areas where it has failed to make improvements to protect children's health, identify the opportunities to make additional gains, and ensure that achievements are not lost due to complacency and lack of commitment. Senator Clinton's letter follows release by the EPA of a report outlining its efforts to address children's environmental health, including an overview of the agency's work in the ten years since the Clinton Administration implemented a landmark executive order to protect children from environmental health and safety risks.

"The EPA and this administration have failed to continue the progress made during the Clinton Administration in protecting the health of our nation's children. Despite efforts during the Clinton Administration to create a sustained framework for addressing children's environmental health issues, the EPA has not followed through on this commitment. It is critical for the agency to ensure our children's health is protected," said Senator Clinton.

In 1997, the Clinton Administration released Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks, which called for federal agencies to identify and assess environmental health risks and safety risks that may disproportionately affect children and carry out activities to address such risks. While gains have been made in the decade since this order was promulgated, the EPA 's actions have raised concerns about the commitment of the current Administration to children's health protection.

Senator Clinton has been active in working to improve children's environmental health. As Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health, she has worked to ensure that the EPA address the health impacts of those disproportionately burdened by environmental pollutants. Last month, she requested, along with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigate the extent to which EPA incorporates and utilizes the recommendations of the Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee - the body of experts designed to help EPA ensure that the interests of children are represented in the agency's activities. Senator Clinton has also introduced the Family Asthma Act and the Home Lead Safety Tax Credit Act to help decrease exposures to the environmental pollutants linked to childhood illness.

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