EPA Offers First-Ever School Siting Guidelines
Millions of American families send their kids to school each morning unaware that thousands of schools across the country are located near toxic waste sites or major sources of air pollution, such as chemical plants or incinerators. As of 2005, only 5 states had regulations prohibiting schools from being located on contaminated sites. (Center for Health, Environment and Justice)
To help protect the health and safety of American schoolchildren and school staff, the EPA has released the nation's first-ever School Siting Guidelines to help communities evaluate environmental and public health factors when choosing new sites for schools.
The voluntary model school siting guidelines will encourage communities to consider important factors such as the special danger to children of toxics and air pollution; the types of transportation available to students and staff; environmental justice, and energy efficiency.
The new guidelines will encourage communities to consider and evaluate these and other important environmental and public health factors when making decisions about where to locate local schools.
It's been a long wait, but they're finally here, and Green Schools Initiative Executive Director Deborah Moore says, "We are pleased and we are extremely grateful to Center for Health, Environment and Justice for spearheading this effort over the past decade!"
The Center for Environment Health and Justice (CHEJ) has been working on these issues for a decade through a project called Childproofing Our Communities (CPOC). Get background information on the long effort to make sure schools are not located near contaminated sites or toxic health threats at Pollution Near Schools.