policy

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence Discusses Environmental Health on House Floor

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-Michigan, 14th District) spoke today during a U.S. House of Representatives meeting to address environmental health.

Lawrence discussed the serious issue of safe drinking water in public schools, noting that the Detroit Public Schools superintendent decided to shut off the water supply to the entire school district after the water tested positive for elevated levels of lead and copper. Lawrence stated, "This week in my hometown of Detroit, the Detroit public schools began the year without safe and clean drinking water. The superintendent chose to shut the water off to the entire school district after 16 of the schools tested positive for elevated levels of lead and copper. What should have been an exciting first day of school was overshadowed by the fears of lead poisoning and unsanitary learning conditions."

Lawrence also discussed the Environmental Health Workforce Act (HR 1909), which she introduced into the House to ensure that every state in the country has a credentialed environmental health workforce. "Only 28 states require the environmental health workforce to be credentialed and unfortunately, Michigan is not one of those states. This legislation I’m proposing will ensure every state has a credentialed workforce. We would not go to a doctor who did not have an MD, why would we let someone who is making decisions about our water quality and food to do without proper qualifications? These emergencies show us that we cannot keep relying on a patchwork of quick fixes," she expressed.

NEHA thanks Lawrence for championing this crucial piece of legislation and for her continued support of environmental health and the importance of a credentialed workforce.

Watch the video of Lawrence's remarks at today's House meeting.

 

Release Date: 
Thursday, September 6, 2018