[EPA Update: 25 September 2023] Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on the design of a health care provider (HCP) training program on pesticide-related illness and injury. Specifically, EPA seeks feedback from the public through a request for information (RFI) titled Request for Stakeholder Input on the Proposed Design of a New Grant Program Regarding the Health Care Provider (HCP) Training Program; Notice of Availability and Opportunity for Comment, on the design of a future EPA-funded cooperative agreement. The Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2022 (PRIA 5) provides funding to train health care provider on pesticide-related illnesses and injuries. Individuals and organizations with experience in health care for populations at elevated risk of pesticide related illness are encouraged to comment.
Pesticide-related illness is widely misdiagnosed and underreported, in part because healthcare providers receive only limited training on occupational and environmental health. In response, EPA is developing a cooperative agreement for an HCP Training Program that will fund the training of healthcare providers on the prevention, recognition, treatment, management, and reporting of pesticide-related illness.
The RFI lays out a proposed design for the training program, which would build on the work of past HCP training while incorporating new environmental justice elements, namely expanded partnerships with groups that serve populations at high risk of pesticide exposure. The proposal has two objectives:
- Administer a national training and technical assistance program for HCPs about pesticide-related illnesses, and
- Administer a partnership program to ensure that the training and technical assistance program is culturally responsive and has both national reach and local applicability.
The RFI poses specific questions to stakeholders on the proposed program design. Specifically, EPA is interested in comments about the types of activities the program could support; about populations at high-risk of pesticide-related illness (and who would benefit from more highly trained clinicians); and about additional ways to ensure that training and technical assistance under the program accounts for the cultural context, social determinants of health, and vulnerabilities of these populations.
Feedback collected through the RFI will shape the final cooperative agreement and inform the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Healthcare Provider Training Program.
Responses to the RFI can be submitted via www.regulations.gov using Docket ID EPA-HQ-OPP-2023-0457 and must be received by 11:59 ET on November 24, 2023. Comments may address additional areas of interest relating to the HCP Training Program.