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EPA National News: 1. EPA ESTABLISHES ENVIRONMENTAL STATISTICS CENTER, 2. WHITMAN AWARDS LARGEST TRIBAL ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH GRANT
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1. EPA ESTABLISHES ENVIRONMENTAL STATISTICS CENTER, 2. WHITMAN AWARDS LARGEST TRIBAL ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH GRANT



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FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2002
EPA ESTABLISHES ENVIRONMENTAL STATISTICS CENTER

Robin Woods 202-564-7841/woods.robin@epa.gov

EPA recently awarded more than $6.25 million to establish a new Center for Integrating Statistical and Environmental Science at the University of Chicago. The center, affiliated with six universities and two other federal agencies, will advance statistical methods that can be applied to state and tribal risk assessment activities. Once operational, the center will support research developing new statistical methods to assess the state of the physical environment and its impact on human and ecological health. Researchers at the center will investigate topics including the relationship between air pollution and respiratory illnesses, statistical design and analysis for estimating trends in environmental indicators, approaches to combining numerical models and statistical methods, assessing the relationship between infant mortality and particulate air pollution and the development of stochastic models and model selection procedures for complex ecological systems. Statistical design and analysis techniques are central to environmental data collection programs and illustrate the need for a cutting-edge, cohesive national research capability in environmental statistics. The funding, awarded under a cooperative agreement, was awarded through EPA’s Science to Achieve Results program (STAR). This grant program is designed to engage the nation’s best university scientists and engineers in environmental research, and funds research in numerous environmental science and engineering disciplines through a competitive solicitation process and independent peer review. For more information on the STAR program, go to: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/ .
WHITMAN AWARDS LARGEST TRIBAL ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH GRANT

Robin Woods 202-564-7841/woods.robin@epa.gov

EPA Administrator Christie Whitman awarded a $1.2 million research grant to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, located in the state of Washington, on June 5. The grant is the largest competitive EPA research award to a tribe to date. Scientists will study 16 shellfish harvest areas in Washington that are commonly used by the Swinomish Tribal Community. Sediments, littleneck clams, Japanese oysters, butter clams and dungeness crabs will be analyzed for several chemicals and heavy metals. Researchers will also investigate effective and culturally-appropriate ways to communicate any identified health risks to the Swinomish community and nearby tribes who also participate in subsistence shellfish harvesting. Results of this project will help to develop and implement mitigation measures to reduce health risks from shellfish consumption. Tribal populations may be at especially high risk for environmentally-caused diseases as a result of their subsistence lifestyles, occupations and customs and/or environmental contaminants that impact tribal lands.
Researchers, as part of the grant announced, will study whether the Swinomish people are exposed to contaminants when they eat shellfish from traditional harvesting areas. The project will also help the Swinomish tribe understand whether this exposure contributes to the high incidence of health-related problems on their reservation. The research grant to the Swinomish tribe was awarded through Science to Achieve Results Program (STAR), an EPA program that funds research grants in numerous science and engineering disciplines through a competitive solicitation process and independent peer review. For additional information on the STAR grant program, go to: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/ .

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