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Bill on Children's Environmental Health Passes Unanimously

Mar 23, 2000In a unanimous 134-0 vote, the Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill [House Bill 313] creating a Children's Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council. Delegate Jim Hubbard, author of the bill, said, "This Bill is not only good for children's health, but it's also progressive policy. Legislators often react with legislation to policies already in place; very rarely do we get a chance to help create policy on the state level. I personally think this is model legislation for other states to consider in the future."

Hubbard said recent studies indicate that children are more likely than adults to suffer long term health effects from exposure to environmental hazards, and that all children are affected by these hazards. Pollution and environmental degradation know no county, state, regional, or national border. Children living in poverty and children in racial or ethnic communities are at disproportionate risk for exposure to environmental hazards.

This legislation coordinates, for the first time, the regulations, rules and standards of the many state agencies that monitor environmental health issues as they relate to children. The Advisory Council created by the bill will be the formal, and only, state entity whose responsibilities include: monitoring and commenting on state regulations and legislation for their impacts on children's health; collecting and disseminating information to the public related to children's health; and developing uniform guidelines for state agencies to follow to help reduce and eliminate children's exposure to environmental hazards.

For more information, read the entire press release, see www.mlis.state.md.us/#bill or contact NCEL.

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