Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Clean Air Initiatives Win EPA Honors

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Tribal Program Improves Alaska Communities’ Health and Environment

ANCHORAGE -- This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is honoring the Anchorage-based Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortia (ANTHC) for their work on clean air initiatives. The 2015 Clean Air Excellence Award recognizes innovative state, local, tribal, and private sector programs that protect health and the environment, educate the public, serve their communities and boost the economy.

The ANTHC award is one of seven projects selected nationally in 2015. Entries were judged by EPA and the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, and winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. today.

ANTHC’s Tribal Air Quality Program’s environmental health consultation team engaged in over 20 locally-led air quality projects and completed over 50 community air quality assessments that reduced air pollution, raised public awareness, and enhanced tribal capacity to address local air quality issues.

ANTHC also spearheads an innovative Healthy Homes program aimed at improving indoor air quality and children’s respiratory health. Alaska Native children are among the most vulnerable populations in the nation with the highest rates of respiratory illness. The Healthy Homes program has built relationships with families, delivered custom in-home education, conducted air quality monitoring, and worked to improve air quality in over 40 homes.

Patrick Bloecher, ANTHC Associate Environmental Health Consultant says “It’s an honor to work for a program on important issues that matter. We have been fortunate to partner with people in communities and make a difference on the ground. Doing this, you see faces, not just statistics – it’s real - and striving to improve health is both a compelling and rewarding mission.”

The awards program, established in 2000 at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, recognizes and honors both individuals and organizations that have undertaken the risks of innovation, served as pioneers in their fields, advanced public understanding of air pollution and improved air quality.

EPA News Release on 2015 Clean Air Excellence Awards: http://go.usa.gov/3ZCWT
More information on the Clean Air Awards: http://www.epa.gov/air/cleanairawards/index.html
More information on the ANTHC Air Quality programs: http://www.anthc.org/cs/dehe/envhlth/ehc/aq.cfm

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