State Legislatures Prepare to Address Environmental Public Health Issues in 2010 Legislative Sessions

By Farquhar, Doug | Journal of Environmental Health, July-August 2010 | Go to article overview

State Legislatures Prepare to Address Environmental Public Health Issues in 2010 Legislative Sessions


Farquhar, Doug, Journal of Environmental Health


At the halfway point in the 2010 legislative sessions, states legislatures have again addressed a number of important environmental public health issues. From restricting the spraying of pesticides near schools to encouraging recycling of mercury-filled fluorescent lamps to curbing the use of chemicals in children's toys, state legislatures continue to craft innovative policy proposals to protect the public health from environmental contaminants despite record budgetary shortfalls.

So far this year, over 1,500 environmental health bills have been introduced or carried over from the 2009 legislative sessions. These include bills addressing asbestos, asthma, biomonitoring, carbon monoxide poisoning, children's environmental health, chemicals and pesticides, drinking water quality, exposure to dangerous heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, indoor air quality, public health tracking, and radon. This article looks briefly at the legislative landscape in the states in 2010 and reviews a variety of environmental health legislation that will be considered, and in some cases has already been adopted, in state legislatures this year.

2010 Legislative Landscape

Forty-five states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have regular sessions in 2010. Nevada and Oregon convened special sessions in 2010, while Montana, North Dakota, and Texas do not have any sessions scheduled (though committees and legislative task forces will continue to meet throughout the year). For 28 states, 2010 is a carry-over year, meaning that legislation introduced in 2009 can be enacted in 2010.

Budgetary issues continue to frame legislative activity in the states. Falling revenues due to the economic recession led to a $145.9 billion deficit in the 50 states, which forced almost every state lawmaker (with the exception of Vermont, which can run a deficit) to cut programs and raise fees and taxes. Environmental health was not immune from these cuts, with many states reducing EPH budgets or eliminating programs altogether. Several local programs chose to eliminate their environmental health programs, placing the burden on the already struggling state EPH programs.

The FY 2011 budgets will contain harsher cuts, as funding gaps continue to mount. Contributing to state budget woes is the end of federal stimulus funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Those additional funds supported state budgets in FY 2009 and, to an even greater extent, in FY 2010. That money ends in FY 2011 and will leave big holes in state budgets when it is gone.

These budget gaps make maintaining current programs difficult and adopting new programs almost impossible. Yet state legislators, like all in government service, strive to meet the demands of the public: more services with fewer resources.

Reducing Chemical Exposures

States legislatures are taking innovative approaches to reducing chemical exposures in schools, homes, and the workplace. Some bills would encourage the use of environmentally preferable cleaning products in schools. Hawaii H.B. 1538 would require public schools to give first preference to the purchase of nontoxic green cleaning and maintenance products. Similar green cleaning bills have been filed in California (A.B. 821), Iowa (H.B. 199, H.B. 823, S.B. 2241, S.B. 2335), and Massachusetts (S.B. 816). Tennessee's H.J.R. 767 directs the state's Department of Education to study green cleaning practices in public schools and to report its findings to the legislature.

Pesticides

The spraying of pesticides on or near school property is another concern addressed by 2010 state legislation. Alaska S.B. 281 would prohibit the use or storage of pesticides on school grounds unless nonchemical measures for eliminating or mitigating a pest, such as sanitation, structural remediation, habitat manipulation, mechanical modifications, and biological measures have been used and have failed.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

State Legislatures Prepare to Address Environmental Public Health Issues in 2010 Legislative Sessions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.