[Senate Prints 107-62]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



107th Congress 
 2nd Session                COMMITTEE PRINT                     S. Prt.
                                                                 107-62
_______________________________________________________________________
 
     CHILDREN'S  ENVIRONMENTAL  HEALTH: WHAT ROLE FOR THE FEDERAL 
                              GOVERNMENT?

                               __________

 PAPERS SUBMITTED AT A SEMINAR SPONSORED BY THE CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH 
                                SERVICE

 TO REVIEW FEDERAL POLICIES WITH RESPECT TO THE RISKS OF ENVIRONMENTAL 
                     HAZARDS ON CHILDREN AND YOUTH


                               __________

                           NOVEMBER 30, 2001
                               __________


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  Printed for the use of the Committee on Environment and Public Works


                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
78-328                       WASHINGTON : 2002
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               COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS

              one hundred seventh congress, second session

                  JAMES M. JEFFORDS, Vermont, Chairman
MAX BAUCUS, Montana                  BOB SMITH, New Hampshire
HARRY REID, Nevada                   JOHN W. WARNER, Virginia
BOB GRAHAM, Florida                  JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma
JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut     CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming
BARBARA BOXER, California            CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri
RON WYDEN, Oregon                    GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio
THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware           MICHAEL D. CRAPO, Idaho
HILARY RODHAM CLINTON, New York      LINCOLN CHAFEE, Rhode Island
JON S. CORZINE, New Jersey           ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania
                                     PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico
                 Ken Connolly, Majority Staff Director
                 Dave Conover, Minority Staff Director

                                  (ii)

  
                                    

                                FOREWORD

    This publication is the culmination of proceedings and 
papers delivered at a day-long seminar held by the 
Congressional Research Service: ``Children's Environmental 
Health: What Role for the Federal Government?'' Senators John 
H. Chafee of Rhode Island and Max Baucus of Montana, then the 
chairman and ranking member of the Committee on Environment and 
Public Works, asked the Library of Congress to provide a 
scientific forum on this issue.
    The Committee on Environment and Public Works is the panel 
of the Senate that oversees the environmental laws of the 
United States, including the effects of environmental hazards 
on human health. Federal rules regulating exposure levels to 
ecological hazards have been developed in law and regulation 
over the last 30 years by the Environmental Protection Agency. 
Federal policy makers have relied on the a wide variety of 
scientific evaluations of the risks posed by environmental 
causes. Guidelines for setting protective levels against 
hazardous exposure are designed for application to large 
population groups.
    Senator Chafee and Baucus asked the Congressional Research 
Service to evaluate the impact of Federal regulation of 
environmental hazards on children and youth. As more research 
of impacts of environmental hazards on human populations was 
published, evidence increasingly indicated that children 
respond differently to environmental hazards than the general 
population. The request to CRS to sponsor a gathering of 
experts provided a starting place for review of this issue with 
the purpose of learning whether refinements were needed in the 
regulatory process.
    Since 1996 Senator Boxer has sponsored bills to provide for 
protection of children against environmental hazards. In the 
107th Congress, she introduced S. 855, ``A bill to protect 
children and other vulnerable subpopulations from exposure to 
environmental pollutants, to protect children from exposure to 
pesticides in schools, and to provide parents with information 
concerning toxic chemicals that pose risks to children, and for 
other purposes.''
    The committee wishes to commend the staff of the 
Congressional Research Service for their diligence in 
fulfilling the task given to them by the committee. The 
national debate on children's health issues has been advanced 
by the scholarship and high quality of the debate among the 
participants.
Remembering Senator John H. Chafee
    On behalf of the committee members, I also would like to 
take this opportunity to recognize the leadership and 
achievements of Senator John H. Chafee as a vanguard in 
protecting the nation's children. As a Senator, he was an early 
advocate for children's rights and health safeguards. He was a 
leader in the health care and Social Security Act debates of 
the 1990's. He was one of the anchor members of the ``Centrist 
Group'' of moderate Senators, of which I was a member. He was a 
key reformer of the long process to overhaul the nation's 
health care system. He was instrumental in pointing out the 
impacts of environmental hazards, such as second-hand tobacco 
smoke, on children and elderly populations.
    John sponsored legislation to protect children in foster-
care housing, and to prevent the sale of tobacco to minors. He 
supported the requirements to adjust air bags regulations in 
automobiles to accommodate children's physical needs, and to 
require safer safety practices for transporting children on the 
nation's roads. Senator Baucus said of his work as a Senator 
who fought for powerless people: ``John spoke for those people 
in the shadows--the poor, the elderly, and children. Especially 
children with special needs, whether it was Medicaid or welfare 
reform, John was a very strong advocate. In fact, he was a 
stronger advocate by far than most Members of the Senate.''
    During the special order of the Senate held after his death 
on October 24, 1999, at which all the Members of the Senate 
offered their thoughts on his passing, the comments were 
universal about John's style of leadership. Senator Bob Graham 
said, ``John Chafee was a very humble, unassuming giant in the 
Senate. He had a broad, inclusive vision. He was a principled 
and thoughtful person. He was kind and generous. He asked and 
gave the best of himself in everything he did. He never sought 
recognition. He rolled up his sleeves and went to work.''
    Senator Jim Inhofe remarked that in the years that he and 
Senator Chafee had been members of the Republican Conference, 
they sometimes disagreed on the issues. By experience, however, 
Jim had come to appreciate the style of advocacy shown by his 
friend, ``I would stop and think it over: This is John, so 
maybe I need to be listening a little bit more. I think he had 
a greater impact on people who disagreed with him than he did 
on people who agreed with him.''
    Senator Bob Smith, who assumed the chairmanship of the 
committee for the remainder of the 106th Congress after Senator 
Chafee's death, remembered Chairman Chafee as a peacemaker and 
advocate for strongly held views. ``If there was anyone who 
ever lived who perfected the art of disagreeing without being 
disagreeable, it was John Chafee. Many times I marveled at his 
ability to participate in a heated debate, in close quarters, 
without losing his composure and his good humor.''
    John Warner and John Chafee had worked side by side since 
they were assigned to the Department of the Navy in the Nixon 
Administration. Reflecting upon John's death, Senator Warner 
said, ``We have to remember every day in this great institution 
that, yes, we have our debates, we have our differences, but 
the man or the woman to your left or right in this magnificent 
institution could be gone the next day by the will of God. I 
always think of that. We have to treasure and value every 
moment we have with each other in this great institution 
because it brings us together.''
    Senator Harry Reid summarized the views of the committee 
members and the Senate as a whole when he stated, ``Some of the 
giants of the Senate in the 20th century are people who have 
served as chairmen of the Environment and Public Works 
Committee, men such as Robert Stafford of Vermont, Jennings 
Randolph of West Virginia, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, of New 
York. John Chafee clearly deserves to be mentioned in the same 
breath as all of them. He truly was a great Senator. In fact, 
it is fair to say when we list the great Senators of the 20th 
century, it would not be complete without the name of John 
Chafee.''
    As a former member of the committee and now returning to it 
as its chairman in the 107th Congress, I think back to the 
example of leadership and open hand of friendship that John 
showed me as a newly elected backbencher from Vermont. The 
towering legacy left behind by my predecessor in the Senate, 
Chairman Bob Stafford of Vermont, was a formidable challenge 
when I first joined the committee. John Chafee was one of the 
first Senators to seek me out as a friend and colleague. Over 
the years, our friendship grew and we came to find ourselves 
increasingly on the same side of issues facing our nation. I 
always relied on his good judgment, good humor, and good sense.
    It is with great appreciation that the members of the 
Committee on Environment and Public Works remember the 
leadership of Senator John H. Chafee, a patriot, Secretary of 
the Navy, Governor, and Senator. He continues to inspire us who 
follow him in this institution with his passion for public 
service, his consummate skills as a legislator, and his 
generosity of spirit.

                                        JAMES M. JEFFORDS, Vermont.
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