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HHS requests input on plan to address environmental disparities

HHS requests input on plan to address environmental disparities

In a NoticeHHS published six strategies Thursday to address climate change and health risks in low-income communities and those who are historically marginalized. These include increasing linguistic abilities and cultural competence within healthcare delivery systems, developing community partnerships to coordinate services, funding research, and measuring the impact.

HHS is also considering larger investments in regions most affected and impacted by extreme weather events. The department proposes, for example, to provide in-home air conditioners along with financial assistance to moderate high-cost electricity bills.

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The department also aims to increase the number of people who are interested in environmental-related careers. HHS plans on recruiting candidates from underserved areas to fill jobs in environmental cleanup, hazardous material removal, and emergency response. The department also plans to finance programs that address climate, natural disasters, clean energy, transportation and housing, as well as water infrastructure. HHS will also develop guidance for public health messaging that states or tribes can use in order to educate citizens about environmental health risks.

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HHS wants to know whether stakeholders believe that the plan adequately addresses the urgency of the environment crisis and what steps they think it should take. HHS seeks input on how to eliminate economic as well as racial health disparities that are related to the environment.

President Joe Biden issued the following statement Executive OrderOn his first day in office, he directed federal agencies to develop environmental health plans. The new HHS proposals expand on 2012 plans. HHS accepts comments until May 19.

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