Government Affairs

At the forefront of environmental health services are the state, local, and federal policy makers who define the issues and provide the resources for the environmental health workforce to respond. Government affairs provide the link between the resource needs of the environmental health workforce and the information needs of state, local, and federal decision makers.

NEHA’s Government Affairs program is the liaison between environmental health professionals and government officials to gather and present the data needed to inform policy makers on the importance of a well-supported and well-funded environmental health workforce. This program will highlight the value of a trained and credentialed workforce in addressing the many environmental threats that affect public health.

For more information on this and other efforts, contact Doug Farquhar, director of NEHA’s Government Affairs program or

The federal government provides resources and direction on environmental health. Congress authorizes the programs and provides the resources to implement environmental health at the federal, state, local, and tribal level.

Congressional Labor HHS Appropriations subcommittee funds the environmental health efforts at CDC. The subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies covers FDA, and the Interior, Environment subcommittee funds efforts at ATSDR and U.S. EPA. Many of these programs in turn fund state, local, and tribal environmental health efforts.

NEHA Government Affairs seeks to keep NEHA members apprised of federal activities regarding environmental health.

Contact Doug Farquhar, director of NEHA Government Affairs, for more information.

Empty congress floor, photo taken from above
Photo courtesy of
The White House on a sunny day with water fountain and colorful flowers
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The federal building in Washington, DC, on a cloudy day
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The federal building in Washington, DC, against a bright blue sky with a few wispy clouds
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Environmental health is primarily local, meaning that state, county, city, and tribal governments provide the majority of the environmental health services the public receives. Food safety, restaurant inspections, indoor environments, vector control, and recreational waters are environmental health services performed by the state and local governments.

The state legislators, county commissioners, and city and tribal councils who authorize and fund environmental health programs are for the most part unfamiliar with the concept. Most policy makers rely on their public health leadership to advocate and advance environmental health services.

NEHA Government Affairs seeks to provide information and data to assist in promoting environmental health and the services it offers.

Contact Doug Farquhar, director of NEHA Government Affairs, for more information.

Interior view of the Maine State Capitol Dome, featuring tall windows
Maine State Capitol Dome, photo courtesy of Doug Farquhar
The Colorado State Capitol Building in winter with frost on the trees against a bright blue sky
Colorado State Capitol Building, photo courtesy of
A hearing room at Minnesota State Legislature with people seated in front of flags
Minnesota State Legislature Hearing, photo courtesy of Doug Farquhar
Outside view of Newton City Hall under a gray blue sky
City Hall in Newton Massachusetts, photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Government Affairs Resources


NEHA Legislative Actions

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NEHA Policy Statements

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NEHA Position Statements

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NEHA Letters & Sign-Ons

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Government Affairs Blog & Webinars

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Past NEHA Policies

View Past NEHA Policy and Position Statements