EPA’s Top Priorities for 2010 Could Impact Funeral Service

February 12, 2010
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imageIn a press conference to announce their budget and policy priorities, the Administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Lisa Jackson, outlined where the Agency intends to place their emphasis and efforts. These priorities, once implemented, could affect the way funeral service will be practiced in the future, especially in the areas of crematory emissions, funeral home waste water discharge and formaldehyde use. Summarized below are the key priorities that could impact funeral service; these are three of the seven outlined by Jackson.

Improving Air Quality:

American communities face serious health and environmental challenges from air pollution. We have already proposed stronger ambient air quality standards for ozone, which will help millions of American breathe easier and live healthier. Building on that, EPA will develop a comprehensive strategy for a cleaner and more efficient power sector, with strong but achievable emission reduction goals for SO2, NOx, mercury and other air toxics. We will strengthen our ambient air quality standards for pollutants such as PM, SO2 and NO2 and will achieve additional reductions in air toxics from a range of industrial facilities. Improved monitoring, permitting and enforcement will be critical building blocks for air quality improvement.

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Assuring the Safety of Chemicals:

One of my highest priorities is to make significant and long overdue progress in assuring the safety of chemicals in our products, our environment and our bodies. Last year I announced principles for modernizing the Toxic Substances Control Act. Separately, we are shifting EPA’s focus to address high-concern chemicals and filling data gaps on widely produced chemicals in commerce. At the end of 2009, we released our first-ever chemical management plans for four groups of substances, and more plans are in the pipeline for 2010. Using our streamlined Integrated Risk Information System, we will continue strong progress toward rigorous, peer-reviewed health assessments on dioxins, arsenic, formaldehyde, TCE and other substances of concern.

Protecting America’s Waters:

America’s water bodies are imperiled as never before. Water quality and enforcement programs face complex challenges, from nutrient loadings and stormwater runoff, to invasive species and drinking water contaminants. These challenges demand both traditional and innovative strategies. We will continue comprehensive watershed protection programs for the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes. We will initiate measures to address post-construction runoff, water quality impairment from surface mining, and stronger drinking water protection. Recovery Act funding will expand construction of water infrastructure, and we will work with states to develop nutrient limits and launch an Urban Waters initiative. We will also revamp enforcement strategies to achieve greater compliance across the board.

Source: National Funeral Directors Association

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