Text: S.3571 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (09/24/2008)


110th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3571

To stimulate social policy and community environments to improve health by encouraging policies and programs to improve community health by policy and design, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
September 24 (legislative day, September 17), 2008

Mr. Menendez introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To stimulate social policy and community environments to improve health by encouraging policies and programs to improve community health by policy and design, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Health Impact Assessments Act of 2008” or the “HIA Act of 2008”.

SEC. 2. Studies by the Government Accountability Office to identify best practices of assessing the planning and impact of land use, building design, and social policy on community health.

(a) Study regarding health impact assessments.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study to determine the best practices, standardized tools, and models for using health impact assessments as a method to promote health and reduce health disparities through social policy, land use, the built environment, and other public policies and projects which have an impact on the public health. Such study shall specifically examine the potential use of health impact assessments to link social determinants of health to land use policies and social policies.

(2) SUBMISSION OF REPORT.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report that describes the results of the study conducted under paragraph (1).

(b) Review of Federal policies and programs.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study to review the positive and negative health consequences of Federal policies and programs, and how to consider health impact assessments for any Federal, State or local project that involves Federal funding or work performed by the Federal Government. In conducting such study, the Comptroller General shall examine, and may use as a model, the environmental impact statements process required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

(2) SUBMISSION OF REPORT.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report that describes the results of the study conducted under paragraph (1).

SEC. 3. National demonstration program.

(a) Center.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shall award a grant to an institution of higher education to—

(A) provide technical assistance and grants for States and localities to provide to States or local health departments or metropolitan planning organizations or local planning departments expertise on health impact assessments;

(B) collect and disseminate best practices and provide technical assistance and training about the scope and uses of heath impact assessments related to community planning and policy making;

(C) develop necessary data and evidence to inform health impact assessments and land use and community design and other broad policy decisions; and

(D) administer the demonstration grant program described in subsection (b).

(2) CONSULTATION.—In carrying out the grant under paragraph (1), the Center awarded such grant shall consult with national organizations with advice and experience regarding health impact assessments.

(b) Demonstration program.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Center awarded the grant under subsection (a) shall award grants to eligible entities to carry out a demonstration project to establish and implement effective processes and models for designing and administering health impact assessments.

(2) ELIGIBLE ENTITY.—For purposes of this subsection, the term “eligible entity” means—

(A) a State government, a State health department, or a State planning department; or

(B) a local government, a local health department, or a local planning department.

(3) CONSULTATION AMONG STATE ENTITIES AND AMONG LOCAL ENTITIES.—An eligible entity described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (2) that receives a grant under this subsection shall consult with the other eligible entities described under such subparagraph (A) or (B), respectively, in carrying out the activities under the grant.

(c) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated—

(1) to carry out subsection (a), $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2009, and such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2013; and

(2) to carry out subsection (b), $4,000,000 for fiscal year 2009, and such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2010 and 2011.

SEC. 4. Expansion of activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(a) In general.—The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shall expand the capacity of such Centers to promote the health impact assessment processes to improve public health and health equity and reduce health disparities in land use, the physical environment, social policies, and exposure to health risks. Such expansion shall include developing guidance for assessing the public participation and potential health effects of land use and design, housing and transportation policy and plans, and other social policy decisions as appropriate, the expansion of training efforts, and the development and dissemination of training tools.

(b) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2009, and such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2013.

SEC. 5. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) BUILT ENVIRONMENT.—The term “built environment” means an environment consisting of all buildings, spaces, and products that are created or modified by individuals, including—

(A) homes, schools, workplaces, parks and recreation areas, greenways, business areas, and transportation systems;

(B) electric transmission lines;

(C) waste disposal sites; and

(D) land-use planning and policies that impact urban, rural, and suburban communities.

(2) HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT.—The term “health impact assessment” means any combination of procedures, methods, tools, and means used to analyze the actual or potential effects of a policy, program, or project on the health of a population (including the distribution of those effects within the population), and that identifies appropriate actions to manage those effects. Such term may include assessments that can objectively evaluate the potential health effects of a project or policy and provide recommendations to improve health outcomes through collaboration, public transparency, and accountability in policy making about the societal dimensions of health.

(3) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Health and Human Services.