Health, Environment and Policy Program Influences
Federal Wildland Fire Policy
The Health, Environment, and Policy program continues to influence federal policy and practice on the health impacts of wildland fires in the United States.
- The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2023 includes an additional $13 million over 2021 enacted levels to “to bolster EPA’s abilities to forecast where smoke from wildfires will harm people and communicate where smoke events are occurring to vulnerable communities.” This funding increase has been advocated by Director of Health, Environment, and Policy, Kevin Cromar, and colleagues for several years, including testimony Cromar gave to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies in 2019, and in subsequent meetings with Office of Management and Budget staff, in which additional funds of $15 million were suggested for EPA to tackle this very problem.
- Feedback from federal partners at the Department of the Interior, including the U.S. Forest Service, and EPA note, for the first time, a coordinated effort across these agencies to address the impacts of wildland fires, a direct result of participating in a technical workshop organized by Cromar and colleagues on the American Thoracic Society Environmental Health Policy Committee. EPA’s FY23 Budget notes that the agency “will work together with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal, state, and community agencies and organizations to improve ways to reduce the public health risk from air pollution resulting from wildfires.”