Critical legislation establishes standards and guidelines for a credentialed environmental health workforce.
The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is pleased to announce the reintroduction of the Environmental Health Workforce Act in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
HR 2262, The Environmental Health Workforce Act of 2019, was introduced by Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (D-Michigan) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Senate version of the bill, S 1137, was introduced by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) on behalf of the environmental health workforce.
Currently, only 28 states require environmental health workers to hold a professional credential. These two bills would require the Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish guidelines for a credentialed environmental health workforce and request a U.S. Government Accountability Office study of the profession comparing three states that require credentials with three states that do not require credentials. States that already have credential requirements would be unaffected.
Representative Lawrence expressed her support for the Environmental Health Workforce Act, "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 do that without proper qualifications? These emergencies show us that we cannot keep relying on a patchwork of quick fixes."
“Environmental health professionals are the bedrock of our nation’s health system,” said NEHA Executive Director David Dyjack, DrPH, CIH. “Every resident, every family, and every community rely on our members to protect and promote their health, safety, and security.”
“NEHA fully supports this important legislation and we are grateful for the leadership of Representative Lawrence and Senator Stabenow,” said NEHA President Vince Radke, MPH, RS, CP-FS, DLAAS, CPH. “Our association acknowledges and applauds their statesmanship and forward thinking, both of which are on full display today.”
This critical legislation will ensure that a credentialed EH workforce will be valued by all 50 states. Please call your members of Congress today and ask them to support the Environmental Health Workforce Act.