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NIEHS WTP: December 14, 2018 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, December 14, 2018

Weekly E-Newsbrief

December 14, 2018

The E-Newsbrief of the National Clearinghouse is a free weekly newsletter focusing on new developments in the world of worker health and safety. Each issue provides summaries of the latest worker health and safety news from newspapers, magazines, journals, government reports, and the Web, along with links to the original documents. Also featured each week are updates from government agencies that handle hazmat and worker safety issues such as DOE, EPA, OSHA and others.

Subscribing to the National Clearinghouse Newsbrief is the best way to stay on top of the worker health and safety news.

Top StoriesBack to Top

U.S. Government Sues State Over Sick Hanford Worker Law

The federal government has sued the state of Washington to overturn a new law that has paid state workers compensation benefits to more sick Hanford workers. The case filed in federal court says the state law violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution by imposing requirements on a federal agency, the Department of Energy. “This is a depraved action,” Gov. Jay Inslee said at a news conference in Olympia. “The people who fought communism shouldn’t have to fight their federal government to get the health care that they deserve,” he said.

Tri-City Herald [Author: Annette Cary]

California Launches Unprecedented Wildfire Cleanup Effort to Restore More Than 14,000 Burned Properties

A massive wildland fire cleanup is now getting under way in several areas across California. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services; Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties; the California Department of Toxic Substances Control; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and other federal, state and local partners, has begun the process of clearing debris following the most destructive series of wildfires in California history.

Lake County News

Ebola Vaccine Is Having ‘Major Impact’ But Worries About Congo Outbreak Grow

As an Ebola outbreak in a conflict-plagued region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to spread after 4 months, there’s a glimmer of hope: An experimental Ebola vaccine appears to be helping the communities it reaches. More than 40,000 people have received the vaccine, by far the largest use of it since a trial in 2015 showed it worked well. The vaccine’s effectiveness in this outbreak has not been formally assessed. But Peter Salama, who heads the Ebola response for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, says, “I think it’s having a major impact.”

Science Magazine [Author: John Cohen]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

The Disaster Debris Recovery Tool: Materials Management for Debris Planning and Emergency Response

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5's Disaster Debris Recovery Tool (DDRT) promotes the proper recovery, recycling, and disposal of disaster debris for emergency planners and responders at the federal, state, tribal, and local levels. This webinar will feature presenters from Region 5 and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojbwe. Region 5 will introduce the history, purpose, and a provide a demonstration of the tool. DDRT users from Millie Lacs Band and Region 5 will explain their experience using the tool in both a disaster debris planning and response perspective. Webinar takes place on Tuesday, December 18, 2018, from 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. EST.

Webinar Information and Registration

Save the Date: NACCHO Preparedness Summit 2019

The 2019 Preparedness Summit, sponsored by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), will look at how threats to our national health security have evolved significantly. The summit will feature experts from the healthcare and emergency management fields as well as public health preparedness professionals, looking at opportunities to address the gaps between these life-saving industries and work more collaboratively in the face of emerging threats. The summit will be held on March 26-29, 2019, in St. Louis, MO.

Preparedness Summit

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

ASPR TRACIE Tips for Healthcare Facilities: Major Earthquakes & Cascading Events

Earthquakes can significantly damage and disrupt a community’s interdependent infrastructure, and can lead to other significant disasters, known as “cascading events.” This tip sheet summarizes the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) document, Major Earthquakes & Cascading Events: Potential Health and Medical Implications, which provides a high-level overview of the potential significant health and medical response and recovery needs facing areas affected by a major earthquake with or without additional cascading events.



CDC Podcast: Travel-related Threat of Zika Virus Transmission in California

In a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) podcast, Charsey Porse, Ph.D., an epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health, discusses efforts to monitor and prevent local transmission of Zika.

CDC Podcast

Funding Opportunity: Hurricane Response Hub Technical Assistance Centers

The Hurricane Response Hub within the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) seeks to establish up to five Hurricane Response Hub Technical Assistance (HRH TA) Centers in jurisdictions impacted by 2017 Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. HRH TA Centers will serve as the coordinating body within the jurisdiction and will lead public health workforce capacity building activities in disaster-related surveillance, environmental, and occupational health needs including, supporting workforce needs assessments, providing training, fulfilling technical assistance requests, and leading and coordinating health communications. It is expected that the HRH TA Centers will be sustained beyond the end of this funding cycle and be poised for rapid response in future hurricane events.

Funding Opportunity Announcement

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

Public Gets More Time to Consider Controversial Radioactive Waste Issue

The Department of Energy has agreed to extend the public comment period on its proposal to loosen its interpretation of what it considers high level radioactive waste. The 60-day public comment period, which was set to end Dec. 10, has been extended until Jan. 9. The extension came at the urging of Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and 75 organizations across the nation, including Hanford Challenge, Columbia Riverkeeper, Heart of America Northwest and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Tri-City Herald

NIOSH Releases New Tool for Assessing Mold

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has released a tool for assessing mold in buildings. Research studies report that finding and correcting sources of dampness is a more effective way to prevent health problems than counting indoor microbes. Therefore, NIOSH developed the tool to help assess areas of dampness in buildings to help prioritize remediation of problems areas.


FY 2019 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant Guidelines Request for Proposals

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Program announced the opening of the request for proposals for Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grants. Grants offered by the Brownfields Program can be used to address sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum) and petroleum. Opportunities for funding includes multipurpose grants, assessment grants, and cleanup grants. The proposal submission deadline is January 31, 2019.

EPA Brownfield Grant Funding

Comment Period Now Open for Healthy People 2030 Objectives

The comment period is now open for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed objectives for Healthy People (HP) 2030. This includes proposed core objectives for Occupational Safety and Health (OSH). This public comment period is an opportunity to provide input on the proposed HP2030 objectives or suggestions for new objectives. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) invites you to submit comments, specifically on the OSH proposed objectives until January 17, 2019.

NIOSH eNews Flash

Submit Comments

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

Health Information Resources to Support Earthquake Response in South Central Alaska

Alaska’s Governor issued a verbal disaster declaration on December 1, 2018, in response to the November 30, 2018 earthquake that shook Southcentral Alaska. At Governor Walker’s request, President Trump issued a Federal Emergency Declaration to assist local, state, and non‐government response and recovery efforts. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) has compiled resources to assist with response to and recovery from the earthquake.

NLM Earthquakes: Health Information Guide

NLM Coping with Disasters, Violence and Traumatic Events

New Website Aims to Be Clearinghouse for Shale Research

A new online tool aims to provide a library of up-to-date research, outlining the effects of the nation’s shale oil and gas boom. The Shale Research Clearinghouse (SHARC) was developed by Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan environmental economic think tank. RFF researchers Daniel Raimi and Alan Krupnick developed SHARC. The database contains about a thousand articles– mostly from peer-reviewed academic journals, accompanied by summaries of the research.

NPR [Author: Marie Cusick]

Shale Research Clearinghouse

Job OpeningsBack to Top

NYCOSH Seeks Associate Director

The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) is seeking an Associate Director to direct safety and health education, training, research, and advocacy work in the Metropolitan New York area. Candidate must be a self-starter, able to work independently and have a background in safety and health and labor. Please email resumes and detailed cover letters to by Friday, January 25, 2019. Impersonal cover letters will not be considered.

Job Description

University of Texas School of Public Health Seeks a Research Coordinator

The University of Texas School of Public Health has a Research Coordinator position currently available for a 5-year project to implement an injury prevention clinical trial among Latino Day Laborers in Houston Texas. If interested, please e-mail for more information.

Job Description

Arise Chicago Seeks Development Director

Arise Chicago, a leading workers’ rights organization, seeks a creative, motivated, full-time Development Director to lead and expand fundraising strategies to support and grow the organization to increase their ability to fight for workplace justice across Chicago. Arise Chicago trains, organizes, and develops the leadership of low-wage, primarily immigrant workers and religious allies to improve working conditions and advance working family policies. To apply, send resume and cover letter to Please include “Development Director Application” in the subject line.

Job Description

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