Environment
Section Newsletter
Spring 2007

This Environment Issue will focus on Keeping It Green.  

I. Message from the APHA Environment Section Chair

    Happy summer to all!  I hope you are all finding time to enjoy the longer days and warmer weather.  Over the past quarter, the Section has been busy working on policy resolutions and position papers and collaborating with organizations and individuals across disciplines and professions to elevate awareness of important and time-sensitive environmental issues including climate change and healthy food systems.  Thanks to our policy subcommittee and very active members, we submitted three resolutions and one position paper to the Joint Policy Committee:

1)     Addressing the Urgent Threat of Global Climate Change to Public Health and the Environment;

2)     Addressing the Potential Risks of Genetically Engineered Food Crops and Pharmaceutical/Industrial Crops;

3)     Supporting Green Chemistry Innovation, Education and Regulatory Reform of Industrial Chemicals;

4)     Towards a Healthier Sustainable Food System.

We also had a successful and well-attended Mid-Year meeting on March 20; members came in from mid-Atlantic region to participate and a dedicated group joined the Section by phone for a large portion of the meeting.  Dr. Benjamin and APHA staff joined the Section throughout the afternoon to discuss issues related to membership, scientific program planning, section affairs and policy.  Dr. Roni Neff, our lead author on the Sustainable Food System position paper, presented the report to the Section and led a thoughtful discussion of how the Section should move forward on this issue.  Roni and I, together with Don Hoppert at APHA, also attended several meetings on the Hill to discuss the upcoming Farm Bill authorization.  We also had the opportunity to attend the Community Food Security Coalition meeting in Baltimore, which was attended by folks from across the spectrum of food systems including farmers, health practitioners, ecologists, activists and community development specialists.  If you are not familiar with this organization, take a break and check out all of the activities and information it has prepared on sustainability and food systems at <http://www.foodsecurity.org/>.

    Finally, please mark your calendars for the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4-7, 2007.  We hope you will consider attending and joining the Section for its annual tour on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2:00 (details will be forthcoming), the Calver Award on Monday, Nov. 5 at 12:30 and the Social Hour on Monday evening.  We will continue to disseminate details about the meeting over the course of the summer and early fall. 

In Peace and Action,

Jill Litt, Chair, Environment Section

<jill.litt@uchsc.edu>

II. Note from Environment Section Communications Chair/e-News Editors

    We want to hear what you or your organization are working on, or interesting news or opportunities that you know of!  Please send ideas for contributions to the APHA Environment Section e-newsletter to <Andrea.Wismann@uchsc.edu>.  The Section newsletter is published three times per year and is available through the APHA Web site at < http://www.apha.org/membergroups/newsletters/sectionnewsletters/environ/ >.

    

    The next  E-newsletter submission date is August 15, 2007.  Submission deadlines will also be publicized through the APHA monthly e-newsletters for the two months prior to deadline.  A final notice is then sent to the Section’s primary members about a week in advance of the deadline by APHA at our request. 

 

Submitted by: Andrea Wismann, MSPH, communications chair and E-News editor <Andrea.Wismann@uchsc.edu>.

III. APHA Environment Section Committee Reports

A.    Policy

1.     New Policies

    Sincerest thanks to everyone involved in the creation and revisions of the four resolutions and the position paper that have been submitted!  Kyle Kinner, John Balbus and Tracy Kolian submitted an updated policy on climate change and health, which has been adopted by APHA. Roni Neff and the Healthy Food Systems Committee have submitted a new policy position paper on food, environment and nutrition.  This policy is still being reviewed, but has been received favorably.  Please feel free to contact John Balbus at <jbalbus@ed.org> if you have questions about the policy submission process.

2.      Subcommittees

    A new climate change committee has been formed, co-chaired by Kyle Kinner and John Balbus.  Please contact John at <jbalbus@ed.org> if you have not already and wish to be involved in this activity.

    A Built Environment Initiative Committee has been formed, and is working on helping the Section identify goal areas and a strategy for moving forward as a Section and together with APHA.  

    A Healthy Food Systems Committee has been formed to address issues of nutrition, environment and health.  The committee has developed a special session proposal both for APHA and for the Section.  If interested in joining a committee on this issue, please contact Jill Litt at <jill.litt@uchsc.edu>.

    Jill Litt, Karen Perry Stillerman and David Wallinga among others are working with APHA as an advisory group on advocacy efforts related to the Farm Bill and other connections that relate to food and environment. 

B.   Program Planning

    Barbara Glenn and Bill Daniell have been doing a fantastic job planning the program for 2007!  They have been reviewing many abstracts, and are looking to recruit session moderators and future program planners.  Please contact them if you are interested: <Glenn.Barbara@epa.gov> and <bdaniell@u.washington.edu>.

C.   Nominations Committee

    Interested in getting involved in the leadership aspects of the section?  If so, please send your name to Nse Obot Witherspoon at <nobot@cehn.org>.  

D.   Student Involvement Committee

    The Student Involvement Committee has sent out the announcement for the Student Scholarship Program Awards.  Results from a survey sent to all the students in the Student Assembly and previous poster and travel award winners has provided important feedback for revising the acceptance criteria to help foster further participation in the section.  The student liaisons, Taylor Anderson and Becky Gluskin, have been busy strengthening the connection with students via the creation of an Environment Student Council subcommittee.  Nse Obot-Witherspoon and Devon Payne-Sturges are brainstorming fundraising activities in D.C. for the Annual Meeting.  Please send ideas to Nse at <nobot@cehn.org>.

E.   Committee on 2011

    Leyla McCurdy has volunteered to chair this newly formed committee that will work to plan events related to the Section’s upcoming 100th Anniversary in 2011.  If you would like to work on this committee, please contact Leyla McCurdy at <mccurdy@neetf.org>.

F.  Green Meeting Committee

    Maureen O’Neill, a section councilor, has agreed to chair the Green Meeting Committee.  She is being assisted by Section members Tim Parsons, Darlene Messina, Michelle Gottlieb and Jennifer Thatcher, as well as Anna Keller at APHA. The goal of this committee is to identify practices for APHA to adopt to increase nutrition and decrease waste at the annual meetings, and as an organizational leader.  Please see the Web site that has recently been posted about Environmental Initiatives and the Annual Meeting <http://www.apha.org/meetings/highlights/Environment.htm>. 

G.  Membership Committee

    Welcome to new and returning members! We want the Environment Section to meet your needs for professional development and networking while advancing the Section's mission of a sustainable and healthy environment.  Robin Lee and the Committee would like to help you customize your Section membership by sending updates based on member interests, so please update your professional interests and expertise at the APHA Web site.  You can update your interests by accessing your member profile at www.apha.org.  Click on the ‘About Us’ drop down menu (upper left-hand corner of the screen), then ‘Member Information’ and lastly, ‘Update Your Member Profile.’  Enter your username and password to access your member profile.  Update all fields and click Submit Changes at the bottom of the screen. 

 

    Please get involved in our activities and help this section continue to be one of the best at APHA (see Participation Opportunities Table).  If you have suggestions or membership ideas, please contact Robin Lee.

 

IV. Opportunities for Participation in the Environment Section

 

Committee

Areas for Assistance

Chair

The Built Environment

Looking for persons interested in the connection between the built environment and public health.  Activities include but are not limited to: planning sessions for the Annual Meeting, advising APHA staff, developing policy positions, and commenting on proposed legislation.

Peter Ashley

Climate Change & Health

Looking for persons interested in the medical and public health impacts of global climate change associated with heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions.  The committee intends to engage in informal peer-education and advocate for sustainable policy.

Kyle Kinner

The 2011

Looking for ideas and support in planning of the 100th anniversary of the Environment Section.

Leyla McCurdy

The Program Planning

Looking for persons to help organize the scientific program for the 2007 Annual Meeting.

Barbara Glenn

Bill Daniell

The Membership

Looking for people willing to engage the membership and help improve communication among members.

Robin Lee

The Policy

Looking for assistance in developing APHA polices on environmental public health issues.

John Balbus

Awards

Looking for help in planning the 2007 Homer N. Calver Award Lecture that recognizes a national leader from the field of Environmental Health.

Leon Vinci

Student Involvement

Looking for aid in bolstering student recognition and in coordinating the student poster and student scholarship awards.

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon

Section Website

Looking for someone with Web skills to update the section Web site.

Jill Litt

Communications

Looking for news to be included in the next edition of the Section newsletter.

Andrea Wismann

Nominations

Looking for individuals interested in nominating and holding Section leadership positions.

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon

For contact information for committee Chairs, please e-mail Environment Secretary Andrea Wismann at  <andrea.wismann@uchsc.edu> or  Environment Section Chair Jill Litt at <jill.litt@uchsc.edu>.

V. APHA Environment Section “Student Corner”

A. Letter from Student Liaisons

Dear Environment Section Student Members:

 

    Welcome to the APHA Environment Section for those of you who are new, and hello again to the veterans. My name is Rebecca Tave Gluskin, and Taylor Anderson and I are the Environment Section student liaisons. This is our second year on the committee, and we have lots of great things planned. We are also a resource for you. Please contact us with ideas, questions and introductions.

 

    By joining this APHA section you have taken a step in the right direction down the environmental health career path. But it is not enough to just have your name on a list. We encourage everyone to get involved: volunteer for committees, write for the Section newsletter, review abstracts and help plan for the Annual Meeting. Through these actions, you will enhance your membership and make important contacts in the field. Active involvement also makes you a desirable candidate for the Section travel scholarships.

 

    Check out the Student Lounge Web site and the Links section at <http://depts.washington.edu/aphaenv/students.htm> for further information about opportunities in the field of environmental health and in the APHA Environment Section. We look forward to working with you and hopefully seeing you at the November Annual Meeting in D.C.

 

Best regards,

 

Rebecca Tave Gluskin (New York University) and Taylor Anderson (Portland State Univeristy)

B.   Solicitation for Future “Student Corner” contributions

    

The “Student Corner” portion of our seasonal newsletter is intended for use by and for the benefit of our student members.  We encourage student members to send text by the appropriate deadlines for upcoming issues of the APHA Environment Section e-newsletter to <Andrea.Wismann@uchsc.edu>.   We encourage short update reports from our section’s Student Involvement Committee and news pertaining APHA’s Student Assembly of interest to our section membership.

VI. New Collaborations and Professional Opportunities

NEHA to co-sponsor National Public Health Week

The National Environmental Health Association leadership voted and agreed to pursue collaborative efforts with the Environment Section of APHA.  NEHA also plans to sign on as a co-sponsor of National Public Health Week for 2008.  The main foci of the collaboration are to encourage students to enter the environmental health field, and for professionals to seek continuing education by attending and presenting at both of our annual conferences as well as contributing to newsletters, journals, conference calls, etc.

Submitted by Derek Shendell, DEnv, MPH, AB, assistant professor, and John Steward, MPH Program Manager, Partnership for Urban Health Research, Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University

VII. Summaries of Other Upcoming or Recent Meetings and Workshops

 

·         National Environmental Health Association's 71st Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition was held June 18-21, 2007 in Atlantic City, N.J.  Please visit: <http://www.neha.org/AEC/2007/conferenceinfo/index.html>

 

·         FoodMed '07 is an exciting one and a half day conference about Healthier Food in Health Care that was held June 28- 29, 2007 in the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.  Please visit: < http://www.foodmed.org/>

 

·         American Water Resources Association Conference was held on June 25-27, 2007 in Vail, Colo. Please visit:  <http://www.awra.org/meetings/Vail2007/index.html>

 

·         13th Internationa Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment will be held June 30–July 3, 2007 in Portland, Maine.  Please visit: <http://ieaonline.org/conference.htm>

 

·         Emerging Leaders, Emerging Solutions: Taking Action On Climate Change And Global Warming is scheduled for July 10-12, 2007 in Newark, N.J. Please visit: <www.elpnet.org>

 

·         NACCHO Annual 2007 Conference “Health Equity and Environmental Public Health – From Local to Global” will be held July 11-13 at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio. Please visit: <http://www.naccho.org/conferences/nacchoannual07/>

 

·         The Third International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology sponsored by the American Academy of Sciences will be held on August 6-9, 2007 in Houston.  Please visit: <http://www.aasci.org/conference/env/2007/>

VIII. Selected New Publications on Environmental Public Health and Environmental Justice Topics

            A.  “VX in TX”: a Community-Wide Outreach on VX Hydrolysate Disposal in Port Arthur, Texas

    The west side of Port Arthur, Texas, is an African-American petrochemical fence-line community that bears a huge burden of health and social stressors.  Chronic low level exposures to fugitive emissions, periodic explosions, chemical fires, and industrial production “upsets” coexist with higher than average rates of respiratory disease, blood, bone marrow and organ cancers, and various other indicators of health disparities.  In early April 2007, the Department of Defense and Veolia Environmental Services implemented a project to ship 1.8 million gallons of neutralized VX nerve toxin from the Newport Chemical Depot near Terre Haute, Indiana, to Veolia’s toxics disposal facility in Port Arthur for incineration.  This VX hydrolysate is scheduled to arrive in weekly convoys of diesel semi-tractors carrying up to a dozen 4,000 gallon shipments of the highly caustic liquid in each seven-day period.   This 1000+ mile route spans eight states, and the caustic stock slated for shipping will fill approximately 360 truckloads, necessitating 60 convoy roundtrips of 120,000+ highway miles over 12-18 months.   The last few miles of this shipping route skirts the West Port Arthur fence-line.

    Most citizens of Port Arthur learned of this project in a local press release synchronized with the departure of the first VX convoy for Veolia’s incinerator.   Local groups such as the  Community In-Power & Development Association, in conjunction with chemical weapons safety advocates from Newport, Ind., the Chemical Weapons Working Group and a sympathetic Port Arthur city councilman immediately mobilized to gather information about the toxin and build a multi-racial coalition to seek an injunction against future shipments of VX hydrolysate into their community.  CIDA Director Hilton Kelley summarized the feeling of concerned citizens in plain-spoken terms: “People have not been warned.  It’s not right to the citizens of Port Arthur.  We are sick and tired of being the toxic dump for the Unites States.”

Mr. Hilton Kelley addressing the original rally in the CIDA parking lot on the west side.  He's wearing his American Legion cap because the Veolia Environmental Services public relations rep styled this project as an opportunity for Port Arthur to help the country.  Hilton served 10 years in the Navy.

    CIDA organized its own press events, rallies and sponsored a forum session on a range of VX issues.  Personnel from the University of Texas Medical Branch NIEHS Center in Environmental Toxicology/Public Forum & Toxics Assistance division broadly surveyed organophosphate central nervous system toxins, lethal properties specific to VX,  critical differences between VX toxin and neutralized hydrolysate, steps in the hydrolyzing process, chemical characteristics of VX hydrolysate,  possible health effects of hydrolysate incineration, other VX disposal options such as Super Critical Water Oxidation, and a historical overview of chemical weapons and the International Chemical Weapons Convention.   This forum brought to light a wide range of community questions and concerns that make VX shipments and the incineration process problematic for local residents. 

Photo of a family protesting across from the Veolia Environmental Services incineration facility.

    CIDA, and its local/regional allies, pushed for an injunction, or moratorium, on future shipments and an open and transparent dialogue with the Department of Defense, Veolia Environmental Services and additional stakeholders from local government and industry.  CIDA’s Hilton Kelley referred to President Clinton’s Executive Order 12898 - “… each Federal agency … shall identify and address disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations” - in characterizing this project as an egregious environmental injustice for Port Arthur.  Department of Defense and Veolia officials maintain that their plan to incinerate VX hydrolysate poses no untoward threat to human health or the local ecosystem.  However, based on CIDA’s plan to seek a legal injunction, a moratorium agreement was reached that shipments would be halted on June 18.  The Department of Defense purports plans to address community concerns in a transparent process.

The following are a list of questions and concerns raised by community and researchers:

  • Chemical weapons disposal safety advocates in Newport, Ind., and the nationally focused Chemical Weapons Working Group agree that the safest course would be on-site disposal at the Newport Chemical Depot.  This plan would obviate the necessity for inter-state transport and keep the operation centralized and inherently more controllable.
  • Accidents in commercial transportation are quite frequent: 18 wheelers are involved in 400,000 crashes annually and 28-35 percent of the rigs carrying hazardous cargoes spill their contents as result.
  • Previous Department of Defense agreements with Perma-Fix of Dayton, Ohio, and the DuPont Chambers Works in Deepwater, N.J., were withdrawn due to political opposition and community pressure. 
  • VX Hydrolysate cleared for shipment to disposal sites must contain no more than 20 parts per billion VX residue & five parts per million EA-2192, a byproduct of the hydrolytic process and also a nerve toxin.  Informants at the Newport facility allege that some chemical reformation of VX agent has occurred during storage yielding higher than officially publicized concentrations.  Reported concentrations may be as high as 48 parts per billion.
  • These same informants also allege that the Department of Defense hydrolysate testing program is not comprehensive, but based instead on sampling and that no accurate inventory of VX and EA-2192 residues in each specific container actually exists.
  • The Army counters that each container has been tested twice and the hydrolyzed liquid contains only potassium and sodium salts.  These dissonant versions of the truth must be vetted.
  • Will the VX hydrolysate be burned separately or in combination with other agents?  Does Veolia know how possible combinations of chemicals will react?  Have combo-incineration procedures been piloted, observed and modified or is this theoretical?
  • What combustion products will be created during the burn?  How will these products be contained or neutralized?
  • What toxic residues will remain after the burn?  How will these residues be handled and disposed of?  How will this disposal affect the bayous and local water quality for well owners?
  • Why did the Department of Defense abandon the original plan to use safer Super Critical Water Oxidation methods of VX toxin disposal?  Incineration has always been considered a less preferable alternative for health and safety reasons.
  • Port Arthur was severely battered by Hurricane Rita in 2005.  Have hurricane velocity winds, torrential rain and the possibility of a catastrophic storm surge been considered in designing Veolia’s storage area devoted to VX hydrolysate?
  • What measures has Veolia implemented to insure the health and safety of employees, nearby residents, and the ecosystem proximate to the incinerator facility?
  • Why did the Department of Defense/Veolia choose to violate the expressed stipulations of the Fiscal Year 2007 Defense Authorization Act (HR 5122)/Section 921: “…when selecting a site for treatment or disposal of neutralized chemical agent at a location remote from the location where the agent is stored, the Secretary of Defense should propose a credible process that seeks to gain the support of affected communities.”  The public, in general, was excluded from access to information about this project, and no efforts were made to build broad-based support.

Submitted by John Sullivan, Co-Director: Public Forum & Toxics Assistance, Sealy Center for Environmental Health & Medicine/NIEHS Center in Environmental Toxicology

Editor's Note: On June 26, the U.S. Army agreed to suspend shipments of VX from Indiana to Texas while a federal court in Indiana reviews evidence in a lawsuit seeking to stop the shipments. 

            B.  2007 Healthy Schools Hero

    Every year to mark the anniversary of the March 18, 1937 Texas school explosion, we salute a “Healthy Schools Hero” whose inspirational leadership protects children and teachers from school hazards and unhealthy school conditions.

    The Healthy School Hero of the year is Diane Ethier, of Pomfret Center, Conn., because she is an environmental health resource and mentor to hundreds of people. In a variety of roles, she helps others to break the silence about school hazards and to overcome the pervasive denial and indifference about school conditions that lead to serious illness in schools. Her courage, her skill as a communicator and her persistence bring the lessons of the 1937 Texas school explosion to schools throughout Connecticut and far beyond.  Important lessons learned are that every school needs a champion; someone who is a driving force to prioritize health and safety in schools. Ethier shows how grassroots organizations, professional associations and state and federal agencies can be allies that enable parents, teachers and school officials to speak up and take leadership for school safety.  To read more about Diane Ethier's story, go to <http://www.healthy-kids.info/resourcesdetail.lasso?-skiprecords=45>

    You too can be a hero and bring the lessons of the 1937 Texas school explosion <http://journal.rcn.net/Sentinellions> to your school. Find additional information and suggestions for school programs and events to improve school safety and health security especially for students with asthma, allergies and other environmentally triggered conditions at <http://www.healthy-kids.info>.

Submitted by Ellie Goldberg, MEd, <healthykids@rcn.com>

            C.  A Fair Farm Bill for Public Health

    The 2007 Farm Bill will include numerous programs that impact public health. In a new installment of its Farm Bill series, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy explains how smarter policies could help curtail the proliferation of cheap unhealthy food, support local food systems that provide more fruits and vegetables, and increase access to healthy food through nutrition and food assistance programs.

You can read “A Fair Farm Bill for Public Health,” and five other papers in IATP's Farm Bill series at:  <http://www.agobservatory.org/issue_farmbill2007.cfm> .

Submitted by David Wallinga, MD, Food and Health Program, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

IX. Fellowship, Scholarship, Training and Awards

A.  Environment Section Student Scholarship Awards

    The APHA Environment Section is pleased to announce our fourth annual Student Scholarship Program!  The Section will provide travel, registration, and/or student membership scholarships to a selected group of deserving undergraduate and graduate students involved with environmental health in some capacity.  The scholarships will be based on need and the identified criteria below.  Funds will be used toward travel to APHA's 135th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., with a theme of "Politics, Policy and Public Health," Nov. 3-7, 2007. 

    Review of applications will be based on the following criteria:

  • Current APHA Environment Section membership;
  • Plans to present at APHA Annual Meeting;
  • Identified financial need;
  • Geographic balance;
  • Involvement with environmental health promotion/research;
  • Identified interest in engaging with the APHA Environment Section. 

    The expectations of all scholarship recipients are the following  (Please make sure that you can meet all expectations before applying):

  • Sign and submit letter of acceptance and commitment.
  • Attendance at the following events at the APHA Annual Meeting: "Meet and Greet" for scholarship recipients, all Environment Section Business Meetings, Environment Section scientific/poster sessions, the Calver Award Luncheon and Environment Section Social.
  • Participate in monthly Environment Section conference calls after the APHA Annual Meeting.
  • Serve on an Environment Section Committee of choice during the next year.

    Interested applicants should submit the following information to the Environment Section Student Involvement Committee member below by 5:00 p.m. EST on Sept. 14.  The Student Involvement Committee will review applications and announce award recipients by Sept. 28.  Incomplete and late applications will not be accepted.  Application Requirements:

I)    Name, e-mail address, contact phone number(s).

II)    School, department, major, and contact information for Dean and Department Chair.

III)    Undergraduate or graduate student?

IV)    Are you an APHA Member?  If Yes, what Section(s) have you joined? 

V)    Submit an essay no longer than 300 words about what you hope to gain by attending the 2007 APHA Annual Meeting and participating in the APHA Environment Section.  In your answer identify three concrete examples of how you currently are or plan to become more involved with the APHA Environment Section.  Please also identify at least one Environment Section Committee that you are interested in working with (Membership, Policy, Student Involvement, Green Conference, Built Environment, Fundraising).

VI)    Which are you applying for: Registration scholarship? Or Registration and travel scholarship?

V)    What is the total scholarship amount you seek? 

* Please note, even if awarded a scholarship your total amount requested may not be able to be offered.

Please send your completed application to Rebecca Gluskin at <rtg230@nyu.edu>  by Sept. 14!!   If you have any questions related to this application ,please contact Nse Obot Witherspoon at <nobot@cehn.org>  or (202) 543-4033 ext. 14,

Submitted by Nse Obot-Witherspoon, Student Involvement Chair

B.  SOPHE/ATSDR Student Fellowship in                               Environmental Health Promotion

    The Society for Public Health Education is accepting applications for the SOPHE/ATSDR Student Fellowship in Environmental Health Promotion. This fellowship is designed to recognize, assist and train students working on research or practice-based projects in environmental health education/health promotion or environmental justice from the perspective of health education or the behavioral sciences.

    Fellowship recipients will receive: a $1,500 stipend to be distributed throughout the year; a Fellowship certificate; a Free student membership in national SOPHE for one year; Complimentary registration at the SOPHE Annual Meeting (San Diego - 2008) and a presentation on the proposed project; and Recognition in SOPHE's newsletter, News & Views, on SOPHE's Web site, and through postings to related listservs.

    Application Procedures: Applicants must be enrolled as a full-time student in a masters or doctoral degree program in health education, health promotion, behavioral sciences, environmental health or a related field. Students are not required to be national SOPHE members at the time they apply. Students must submit the original and three copies of: a completed application form; a current resume or curriculum vitae; and a project proposal describing the rationale, intended purpose, process/methodology, and potential contribution or impact of the project in 800 words or less. In addition, applications should include one letter of recommendation (from an internship coordinator, preceptor, faculty member or other professional); and one letter of support from a designated faculty member who plans to work with the applicant on the proposed project and can verify that the student is following a course of study in one of the above mentioned disciplines. Letters should be submitted in sealed envelopes with authors' signatures across the seal. Application forms, detailed instructions and review criteria are available at: <http://www.sophe.org/content/awards.asp>.  

    Applications should be submitted to: Society for Public Health Education, Environmental Health Promotion Fellowship, 750 First Street, NE, Suite 910, Washington, D.C. 20002.  All applications must be postmarked by July 31 to qualify for consideration.  If you have any questions, contact Tanya Maslak at (202) 408-9804 or <tmaslak@sophe.org>

Submitted by Tanya Maslak, MPH, Director, Environmental Health Promotion, Society for Public Health Education

X. Inter-Section and Policy Updates

            A.  APHA Meetings to Go Green!

    APHA has taken Green Meetings to heart thanks to the help of Anna Keller at APHA and the Environment Section Green Meeting Committee.  A Web site has recently been posted, Environmental Initiatives and the Annual Meeting, at <http://www.apha.org/meetings/highlights/Environment.htm>.  We urge all of our members to look at this, and if you have any suggestions for additional links, send them to Anna Keller at anna.keller@apha.org.

    Thanks to our joint efforts with APHA, carbon offsets will be offered for this meeting through a highly ranked carbon offset company, Native Energy.  Members traveling to the Washington, D.C., meeting will be able to link to a specially designed Web page that will allow them to calculate offsets for their trip and select a project that will support or help build renewable energy projects.

    We have also been warmly received on being sure anti-idling regulations in Washington, D.C., are followed.  As you may know, pollution from diesel engines is a widespread problem, and it significantly contributes to air pollution, especially in urban areas. Diesel exhaust is made up of small particles, known as fine particulate matter. Fine particles pose a serious health risk because they can easily pass through the nose and throat and lodge themselves in the lungs. When inhaled repeatedly, the fine particles in diesel exhaust may aggravate asthma and allergies or cause other serious health problems including lung cancer.  By enforcing anti-idling regulations, we are minimizing exposure. In coordination with the Food and Nutrition Section, healthy eating choices are being listed for the area. 

    If you are responsible for any catered events at the Annual Meeting, don't forget to ask for organic, locally grown and antibiotic-free foods whenever possible. APHA will promote public transit and walking whenever possible. Additionally, they also have listed hotels participating in linen and towel reuse programs as well as much, much more.  Please visit the site to learn more!

Submitted by Maureen O’Neill, Chair of Green Meeting Committee and Anna Keller, APHA

        B.  Legislative Alerts and Updates

1. Tell Congress to Pass a Healthy Farm Bill

    This year’s Farm Bill reauthorization provides a significant opportunity to improve the nutritional quality of all Americans’ diets. APHA has identified a number of priorities for inclusion in the 2007 Farm Bill. These priorities include strengthening the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program, increasing the availability of fruits and vegetables in schools, improving the nutritional quality of school foods, expanding human nutrition research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and ensuring that WIC food packages will be updated in the future to reflect advances in nutrition science.  To view the Action Alert, please go to: <http://www.capwiz.com/apha/issues/alert/?alertid=9907851>

            2. State Children’s Health Insurance Program  Reauthorization; Support a Major Step to Insure Every Child in America! 

    The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is scheduled to be reauthorized this year.  SCHIP successfully provides health insurance coverage to 6 million low-income children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid and who do not have access to employer-sponsored coverage, thereby improving their health status and outcomes.  Despite this success, the future of the program is now in jeopardy as current funding levels are insufficient even to maintain the coverage of children currently enrolled.  Ultimately, if fully funded and improved, SCHIP has the potential, along with Medicaid, to cover roughly 75 percent of the 9 million children in this country who are uninsured.  To make this happen, Congress needs to authorize at least $50 billion in new federal funds over the next five years in its SCHIP reauthorization legislation.  Tell your senators and representative to make children’s health coverage a priority! To view the Action Alert, please go to:< http://www.capwiz.com/apha/issues/alert/?alertid=9546106>.

Submitted by Leon F Vinci, DHA, RS, Action Board Representative, Environment Section

3.  High Performance Green Buildings Act of 2007

    The U.S. Senate passed the S 506 Lautenberg-Warner High Performance Green Buildings Act of 2007 early in the morning of June 22.  The passage is a public health and environment victory, consistent with APHA policy # 200010, "Creating Healthier School Facilities", which helped win enactment of the Healthy and High Schools act in no child left behind in 2002.  A House version passed earlier this year. The act will now go to a Senate-House Joint Conference Committee to iron out differences. The Senate version with all schools provisions intact is anticipated to prevail.

Key provisions of S 506:

  a. Sets up a federal office of green buildings in general services administration.

  b. Sets up federal advisory committee, including child health advocates.

  c..New office will coordinate federal agencies, promote public info and research.

  d. Allows EPA to make grants to states for providing technical assistance on using EPA's schools-programs.

  e. Allows EPA to make grants to states to create school environmental quality plans, including standards for school design, identification of ongoing problems and solutions on how to address them.

  f. Directs EPA, with the U.S. Department of Education and the CDC, to develop model guidelines for the siting of schools, taking into account vulnerability of children, access to transportation, other factors.

  g. Directs EPA with Health and Human Services to develop guidelines for use by the states in developing and implementing environmental health programs for schools, including research on occupant health issues; to provide tech assistance on school environmental issues; and to promote collaborations with pediatric environmental health specialty units in conducting on-site school investigations.

Final text not available online at this time. See S 506 as of June 6 at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:s.00506:, see summary at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:SN00506:@@@X

Submitted by Claire Barnett, Executive Director Healthy Schools Network

XI. APHA Environment Section Leadership Calls

    APHA Environment Section leadership calls are on the third Thursday of each month, from 3-4 p.m. EST.  Please e-mail Section Chair Jill Litt at < Jill.Litt@uchsc.edu > to be on the e-mail list to receive each call’s agenda and dial-in information. 

XII. APHA Environment Section Leadership

    This is a list of the current Environment Section leadership, councilors, and committee officers.  For contact information for any of the following individuals, please contact Section Secretary Andrea Wismann at andrea.wismann@uchsc.edu .

Environment Section Leadership

Environment Section Chair

Jill Litt, PhD, Jill.Litt@uchsc.edu

Environment Section Chair-elect

Rebecca A. Head, PhD, DABT

Environment Section Immediate Past Chair

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, MPH, nobot@cehn.org

Environment Section Secretary

Andrea Wismann, MSPH, andrea.wismann@uchsc.edu

Environment Section Secretary-elect

Rebecca Love, MPH, CHES

Environment Section Governing Councilors

Brenda M. Afzal, RN, MS
John M. Balbus, MD, MPH
Allen Dearry, PhD
Anthony J. DeLucia, PhD
Derek G. Shendell, DEnv, MPH, AB
Peter J. Ashley, DrPH

Environment Section Councilors

Doug Farquhar, JD 
Michael J. Greene, MS, MPP
Amy D. Kyle, MPH, PhD
Robin Lee, MPH
Maureen O'Neill, MURP
Devon C. Payne-Sturges, DrPH

Environment Section Committee Chairs

Nominations Committee

Nse Obot-Witherspoon, MPH

Program Planning Committee

Barbara Glenn, PhD and Bill Daniell, MD, MPH

Policy Committee

John M. Balbus, MD, MPH

Communications Committee

Andrea Wismann, MSPH

Student Involvement Committee

Nse Obot-Witherspoon, MPH

Built Environment Committee

Peter J. Ashley, DrPH

Climate Change Committee

Kyle Kinner, JD, MPA and John M. Balbus, MD, MPH

Healthy Food and Environment Committee

Jill Litt, PhD

Committee on 2011

Leyla McCurdy, MPhil

Membership Committee

Robin Lee, Epidemiologist

Green Meeting Council

Maureen O’Neill, MA