ERIS has published its biennial report summarizing the results of the 2022 survey of state research needs, Findings of the 2022 Biennial ERIS Survey of State Environmental Agency Research Needs.
U.S. EPA Seeks Public Comment on Research Action Plans
U.S. EPA’s Office of Research & Development (ORD) has released for public comment the six draft Strategic Research Action Plans (StRAPs) for fiscal years 2023-2026, which outline the leading-edge research strategies necessary to provide the scientific foundation for EPA to execute its mission to protect public health and the environment. Over the past year, these draft StRAPs were developed through a series of listening sessions, workshops, and consultations with ORD staff.
In the coming months, the research plans will be reviewed by EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), an independent body of experts charged with providing advice and recommendations to ORD. The BOSC review will include an opportunity for public comment, via submissions to the docket leading up to the meeting and then via oral comments at the May 4-5 meeting itself.
Comments must be received by May 3 to be considered by the BOSC. See the announcement and details on commenting here.
Lessons on State Resilience and Vulnerability to Complex Disasters
Over the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have faced hurricanes, floods, extreme heat events, destructive wildfires, as well as other natural disasters and homeland security threats that test the resiliency of state agencies and the communities they serve. To learn more about state efforts, ASTHO and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), in coordination with the EPA’s Office of Research and Development, hosted two listening sessions in January 2022 on resilience and vulnerability to complex disasters or environmental events with multiple interacting impacts.
The sessions focused on how state environmental and health agencies can prevent and mitigate environmental pollution and related public health impacts from disaster events (e.g., natural disasters and extreme weather, wildfire events, environmental contamination, chemical spills), especially during COVID-19 response and recovery.
Listening Session 1 focused on best practices in planning for complex disasters. Listening Session 2 focused on best practices in implementing policies and practices during and after complex disasters. This summary document highlights lessons learned and offers a path forward for states and co-regulators.
EPA Requests Environmental Agency Staff Participation in and Input on its U.S. EPA’s National Research Programs for Strategic Action Plan Development
The U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development’s (ORD) national research programs are engaging states in the development of their FY23-26 Strategic Research Action Plans (StRAP4) to guide its research and development portfolio. Through its efforts on state engagement and work with ERIS, ORD is expanding its state participation on select Research Area Coordination Teams (RACTs) for the StRAP4 to improve the agency’s research utility. RACTs convene to refine research areas and strategic outputs to meet environmental and public health research goals. The state member will provide their state’s perspective to the RACT and serve as a liaison.
ORD is looking for state staff interested in participating on the RACTs for Safe and Sustainable Water Resources (focus areas); Chemical Safety for Sustainability (focus areas) and Health & Environmental Risk Assessment (focus areas); Sustainable and Healthy Communities (focus areas) and Homeland Security (focus areas); and Air, Climate & Energy (focus areas).
You are welcome to nominate someone or volunteer to participate on one of the RACTs (see draft synopses linked to learn more and review the ‘focus areas’ excel sheets with specific teams for involvement and suggestions ORD has received of potential state members where collaborative relationships already exist). Please send a compiled list of interested nominees and teams to Lisa Matthews and Erin McCabe no later than September 15. Prior to joining the RACTs, ORD will request confirmation of selected state members from their supervisor or above by sending Lisa this letter.
Timing is estimated to be about 10 percent of the person’s time beginning in October and ending in June 2022. ORD’s aim is that at least half of the 51 RACTs supporting the development of StRAP4 will include state environmental and public health agency members.
EPA Publishes Blog Post on Significance of Partnership with ECOS/ERIS
Read Partnerships for Environmental Health Challenges Show the Way Forward by EPA’s Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta about the significance of the ECOS-ASTHO-EPA ORD partnership to protect environmental health.
Air Quality Webinars
This document provides a list of upcoming and archived stormwater webinars. If you have any to add to this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org