At the forefront of environmental health services are the state, local, and federal policy makers who define the issues and provide the resources for the environmental health workforce to respond. Government affairs provide the link between the resource needs of the environmental health workforce and the information needs of state, local, and federal decision makers.

Our government affairs program is the liaison between environmental health professionals and government officials to gather and present the data needed to inform policy makers on the importance of a well-supported and well-funded environmental health workforce. This program highlights the value of a trained and credentialed workforce in addressing the many environmental threats that affect public health.

Federal Affairs

The federal government provides resources and direction on environmental health. Congress authorizes the programs and provides the resources to implement environmental health at the federal, state, local, and tribal level.

Congressional Labor HHS Appropriations subcommittee funds the environmental health efforts at CDC. The subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies covers FDA, and the Interior, Environment subcommittee funds efforts at ATSDR and U.S. EPA. Many of these programs in turn fund state, local, and tribal environmental health efforts.

We seek to keep members apprised of federal activities regarding environmental health.

State, Local, Territorial, & Tribal Affairs

Environmental health is primarily local, meaning that state, county, city, and tribal governments provide the majority of the environmental health services the public receives. Food safety, restaurant inspections, indoor environments, vector control, and recreational waters are environmental health services performed by the state and local governments.

The state legislators, county commissioners, and city and tribal councils who authorize and fund environmental health programs are for the most part unfamiliar with the concept. Most policy makers rely on their public health leadership to advocate and advance environmental health services.

We work to provide information and data to assist in promoting environmental health and the services it offers.