Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessments, Environmental Protection Agency, California
Data Center Description
The overall mission of the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is to protect and enhance public health and the environment by scientific evaluation of risks posed by hazardous substances.
Examples of current OEHHA functions and responsibilities include:
Developing health-protective exposure standards for different media (air, water, land) to recommend to regulatory agencies, including ambient air quality standards for the Air Resources Board and drinking water chemical contaminant standards for the Department of Health Services.
Carrying out special investigations of potential environmental causes of illness, diseases and deaths. Current and recent activities include investigation of the health effects of air pollutants, pesticides, and other chemical exposures.
Continuing public health oversight of environmental regulatory programs within Cal/EPA.
Making recommendations to the Department of Fish and Game and the State Water Resources Control Board with respect to sport and commercial fishing in areas where fish may be contaminated.
Assessing health risks to the public from air pollution, pesticide and other chemical contamination of food, seafood, drinking water, and consumer products. Providing guidance to local health departments, environmental departments, and other agencies with specific public health problems, including appropriate actions to take in emergencies that may involve chemicals. Implementing the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).
These responsibilities are fulfilled by a highly trained professional staff of about 110 individuals. Of these staff, 64 hold doctoral degrees, seven are physicians, and 21 hold masters degrees in public health or science. OEHHA is budgeted in fiscal year 2001-2002 for approximately ม million. OEHHA is headquartered in Sacramento and has a second office in Oakland.