EPA has developed policies and guidance to consider children, but it has not maintained attention to children through agency priorities and strategies. Specifically, EPA has not institutionalized the agency's commitment to children's health.
So says the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a report that focuses on the "opportunities" the Agency has to re-engage in efforts to promote the environmental health of children.
The report points out that in 1996 EPA issued a National Agenda that established children’s environmental health as a top priority and a central focus of all agency efforts. According to GAO, although EPA initally had some strong initiatives, it has dropped the ball in recent years and, in fact, has taken actions that directly contradict the National Agenda priorities indicating that the agency lost some of its initial focus on children’s environmental health. The report cites as an example the December 2006 final rule that significantly reduced the amount of publicly available information reported to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) about toxic chemicals released into air, water, and land.
What is the state of the environmental health of American kids and will more regulation improve their prospects?