Justin Johnson, Vermont
The core mission of the Cross-Media Committee (CMC) is to launch and implement innovative multi-media initiatives to increase the effectiveness of state and federal governments for preventing or reducing pollution and protecting public health and the environment. The current focus of the CMC and its subgroups is wide-ranging and includes management of chemicals and toxics, with special attention on mercury. The committee and its subgroups also focus on emerging contaminants, including pharmaceuticals and nanomaterials as well as issues pertaining to the cleanup of federal facilities. In recent years, the committee has expanded its focus to include Green Chemistry and Design-for-the-Environment.
ECOS created the Cross-Media Committee in 2001 with the following Charter.
The following groups are active subgroups of the’CMC:
As subgroups, the above groups undertake detailed work for the Cross-Media Committee in its various focus areas. The above subgroups report their policy recommendations to the wider ECOS membership through the Cross-Media Committee. Click on the above links to learn more about the CMC's subgroups.
Persons wishing to learn more about the CMC may contact Matthew Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) at (202) 266-4925.
Cross-Media Committee Resources
Letter to U.S. EPA and OMB on Mercury
On Jan. 14, 2014— ECOS and the Quicksilver Caucus sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy seeking her support for reinvigorating the longstanding state-federal collaboration on mercury. The letter proposes that the Administration work with ECOS to pursue several specific tasks in an effort to further reduce mercury pollution and protect public health.
Scott Nally Steps Down as Cross-Media Vice-Chair
On Jan. 7, 2014, Scott Nally announced that he was stepping down as Director of Ohio EPA in order to pursue other opportunities. As a result, Scott would discontinue serving in his role as Vice-Chair of the ECOS Cross-Media Committee.
Scott had been an active member of ECOS for several years in his role as Ohio EPA Director, and prior to that, as Assistant Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. He served for the past year as Vice-Chair of the ECOS Cross-Media Committee and played an active role in building broad support for ECOS’ position supporting reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act which members adopted on Sept. 17, 2013.
Upon Scott’s departure, Ohio Governor John Kasich appointed Craig Butler to serve as the agency’s Interim Director. Butler previously served as Kasich’s Senior Policy Advisor for environmental, energy, utility, and agricultural issues. Prior to that, Butler was District Director of both Ohio EPA’s Central District Office and its Southeast District Office.
Over the coming weeks, the Cross-Media Committee will be entertaining nominations to elect a new Vice-Chair. ECOS thanks Scott for his service and leadership, and wishes him well in his future endeavors.
House Holds Hearing on TSCA Reform
On Sept. 18, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a hearing regarding the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Cross-Media Committee Chairman Justin Johnson (Vermont) testified on behalf of ECOS. For a limited time, an archived video of the hearing will be available for viewing at the Subcommittee’s website.
ECOS’ oral testimony starts at 26 minutes into the hearing. Justin also answers several questions from congressmen, both at the 1:22 and 1:31 marks. A copy of the written testimony was submitted a week prior to the hearing in order to meet the prescribed deadline.
The day before the hearing (Sept. 17), ECOS members voted to revise and re-authorize ECOS’ policy on TSCA Reform (Resolution #10-8).
At 1:46, Congressman John Shimkus moves to accept ECOS’ revised resolution into the congressional record, and says with regards to ECOS: “They’ve been very helpful in my time as [Subcommittee] Chairman in dealing with issues.”
Here is a photo of Justin discussing chemicals legislation at the hearing.
New Mercury Report Published
On August 23, 2013, ECOS published the Status Report on Select Products, Processes and Technologies Utilizing Mercury. The report was developed by the Quicksilver Caucus and explores the problems associated with mercury occurring in select products, processes and technologies not yet thoroughly examined by experts in the field, such as tattoo inks and nanomaterials. Development of the report was supported by a grant from U.S. EPA.
ECOS Requests Stronger FY14 Congressional Budget for DOE’s Nuclear Cleanup Work
On Aug. 6, 2013, ECOS sent a letter urging Congress to provide a stronger Fiscal Year 2014 budget for cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex. The letter requests a fully funded budget to allow the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to remediate these sites on schedule per legally binding state-federal cleanup agreements. The letter also expresses alarm over the negative impacts to the cleanup program borne as a result of sequestration and other recent budget cuts, including worry that state oversight workers may face layoffs and will have a diminished ability to provide quality assurance of ongoing cleanups. The letter also requests better and more timely opportunities be provided for states to consult with DOE regarding the possible implications of any future budget cuts so that cleanup priorities can be jointly determined as circumstances change over time and unanticipated environmental and public health concerns emerge.
NPPR Seeking States to Join Safer Chemistry Program
The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) is seeking state environmental agencies to join their 2025 Safer Chemistry Challenge Program. Program partners work with businesses to encourage advancements in green chemistry and the use of environmentally safer substitute chemicals.This initiative is supported by ECOS Resolution 11-4 On Chemicals Prioritization and the Safer Chemistry Challenge Program passed in September 2011.Ten state environmental agencies and six universities have already joined the program. Other states are encouraged to join before the deadline of Sept. 14, 2012. For more information, including a letter of invitation from ECOS President Tom Burack and NPPR Chairman Ken Zarker, click this link.
EPA Releases 2010 Analysis of TRI Data
On Jan. 5, 2012, EPA sent a letter to state environmental commissioners announcing the release of their 2010 analysis of Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. More information can be found in the letter here.
ECOS Endorses’New Policy Resolutions Regarding Chemicals Prioritization and Amalgam Separators
On Sept. 26, 2011, ECOS endorsed two new policy resolultions during the Cross-Media Committee plenary session. See the text of the resolutions here:
On Chemicals Prioritization and the Safer Chemistry Challenge Program
Urging Creation of a Dental Amalgam Separator National Review Committee
Pentagon Thanks ECOS for Support of FUDS Program
On July 18, 2011, ECOS received a letter from Maureen Sullivan, Director for Environmental Management with the U.S. Department of Defense. The letter expresses gratitude for ECOS' support of the Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) cleanup program, and for defending the program against cuts proposed for its fiscal year 2012 budget.
ECOS Urges Congress to Fully Fund FY 2012 Budget for DOE Nuclear Cleanup Work
On May 17, 2011, ECOS sent a letter urging Congress to fully fund DOE's budget request of $6.13 B for fiscal year 2012 to support the agency's nuclear cleanup work. The letter refers to ECOS Resolution #10-3 that urges Congress to "appropriate the levels of funding necessary to ensure EM (Environmental Management) annual budgets are fully funded and fully compliant" noting that "stable funding leads to greater efficiencies in cleanup cost and schedule." Click here to see a copy of the letter.
Justin Johnson of Vermont Elected Cross-Media Vice-Chair
ECOS is pleased to announce that Justin Johnson (Vermont) has been elected by the ECOS Cross-Media Committee to serve as its Vice-Chair. The vote occurred during the committee's March 29 meeting held as part of the 2011 ECOS Spring Meeting in Alexandria, VA. Justin is the Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Justin has been a member of the committee for more than two years.
Ted Sturdevant of Washington Appointed New Chairman of the ECOS Cross-Media Committee
ECOS President Richard Opper (Montana) has appointed Ted Sturdevant (Washington) as the new Chairman of the ECOS Cross-Media Committee effective Dec. 14, 2010. Ted is the Director of the Washington State Department of Ecology.
Ted has been an active member of the Cross-Media Committee since January 2010 and had served as the committee's Vice-Chair since his election to that position on March 4, 2010.
Ted succeeds the previous committee chair Shari Wilson (former Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment) who resigned her position on Dec. 6, 2010. ECOS thanks both Ted and Shari for their service and leadership.
Drinking Water Association Endorses ECOS Resolution on TSCA Reform
On Nov. 22, 2010, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) sent a letter to congressional leaders urging support for reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) as outlined in ECOS Resolution 10-8.
EPA Responds to ECOS Letter Regarding Dental Amalgam Effluent Guidelines
On Oct. 19, 2010, ECOS received a letter from EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, Peter Silva, confirming the agency's announced plans to initiate an effluent guidelines rulemaking for dental facilities. The rulemaking will focus on the use of separators for reducing discharges of amalgam mercury. The letter responds to an ECOS letter sent in August urging the agency to take such action.
ECOS Passes New Policy Resolutions on TSCA Reform and Vehicle Switches
On Aug. 30, 2010, ECOS passed a new resolution urging Congress to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) so manufacturers must prove that a chemical is safe before EPA will allow it to be used in products. ECOS also passed a new resolution supporting elimination of duplicative controls for PCB wastes and residuals from TSCA. The association also passed a resolution declaring that ECOS will reconsider its support for the National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program if the program stakeholders fail to strengthen and fund the program by the end of September. ECOS renewed its support of collaborations between the States and DOD for advancing sustainability and environmental management efforts.
ECOS Sends Letter to Pete Silva on Effluent Guidelines and Dental Amalgam
On August 19, 2010, ECOS sent a letter to EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, Pete Silva, to urge that dental facilities be required to install and use seperator machinery to prevent amalgam mercury from entering sewer systems.
Steve Owens Sends Letter to ECOS on Mercury
On May 13, 2010, EPA Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Steve Owens, sent a letter to ECOS acknowledging receipt of Resolution #07-1 "Implementing a National Vision for Mercury." In the letter, Mr. Owens thanks ECOS for sending EPA the resolution and resolves to continue working with state agencies to address the mercury issue.
ECOS Passes Resolutions on Hg, P2, DSMOA, TSCA CBI, and Nuclear Cleanup Budgets
During the Cross-Media Committee plenary session on March 24, 2010, the ECOS membership passed the following policy resolutions (click links for resolution texts):
State Access to Confidential Business Information under the Toxic Substances Control Act
Promotion of Pollution Prevention and Sustainability in Partnerships
Implementing a National Vision for Mercury
DSMOA and Federal-State Collaboration
Cleanup Budgets for the Nuclear Weapons Complex
In addition, during the Water Committee plenary session on March 24, 2010, the ECOS membership passed another resolution regarding:
Comprehensive National Mercury Monitoring
ECOS Publishes Report on Emerging Contaminants
In January 2010, ECOS’published the Green Report, "State Experiences with Emerging Contaminants: Recommendations for Federal Action." The report contains a set of detailed case studies outlining state experiences with addressing emerging contaminants, including state laws and regulations as well as agency studies, programming, and prioritization decision-making processes. The report outlines some of the challenges states face in addressing the thousands of chemicals present in the U.S. environment, including risk communication. Recommendations from the ECOS Cross-Media Committee are also included in the document for how federal agencies might help states further address emerging contaminants. Notes are appended to the report that detail the committee's recent outreach to the federal government advocating for increased nanomaterials risk research and state-federal consultation. The report was funded in part through a cooperative agreement with U.S. EPA's Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
Committee Publishes Tool to Prioritize Contaminants of Emerging Concern
The Cross-Media Committee, working closely with the ECOS Emerging Contaminants Work Group, recently finished developing a Tool to Prioritize Contaminants of Emerging Concern. The document is intended for use by environmental agency leaders and suggests key criteria for prioritizing emerging contaminants so that agencies can more readily use their limited resources to identify and address priority substances. The tool is merely suggestive of considerations that may aid the prioritization process and is flexible for being adapted to accommodate the unique needs and circumstances of individual agencies.
Committee Sends Thank-you Letter to Administrator Jackson for Resolution of the TRI Reporting Issue
On Oct. 30, the ECOS Cross-Media Committee sent a letter to US EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, thanking her for helping to resolve the reporting issue with the Toxic Release Inventory. View the letter here.
Committee Members Meet with White House and Federal Officials to Discuss Nanomaterials Risk Research
Representatives of the Cross-Media Committee and the Emerging Contaminants Work Group recently met with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and members of the federal Nanotechnology and Environmental Health Implications Working Group. Notes from the October 2009 meeting are available here.
ECOS Passes Resolutions Regarding Green Chemistry and Formerly Used Defense Sites
During the Cross-Media Committee plenary session on September 22, 2009, the ECOS membership passed the following policy resolutions (click links for resolution texts):
Promotion of Green Chemistry for Sustainable Economic Development and Protection of Public Health and the Environment
Department of Defense's Formerly Used Defense Sites Program Budget
ECOS Passes Resolution Regarding Mercury Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
During the Water Committee plenary session on September 22, 2009, the ECOS membership passed a resolution regarding mercury TMDLs as recommended by the Quicksilver Caucus. Click link for resolution text:
The Need for a National Mercury Reduction Implementation Strategy and Global Actions to Further Progress on Atmospheric Mercury Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
Cross-Media Committee Sends Letter to the White House Regarding Nanomaterials Risk Research
On August 7, the ECOS Cross-Media Committee sent a letter to White House Office of Science, Technology and Policy Director, Dr. John Holdren regarding nanomaterials risk research. View a copy of the letter here.
US EPA Agrees to Work with States to Investigate More Comprehensive Approaches for Reducing Mercury Pollution
On July 8, Acting Associate Administrator for US EPA OCIR, Joyce Frank, sent a letter to leaders of the Cross-Media Committee thanking them for their June 11 letter requesting that US EPA engage with the states to investigate more comprehensive approaches for reducing mercury in the environment. Click here to view the letter. Click here to view the original request.
ECOS Passes Resolutions on Mercury and Federal Facility Cleanup Issues
During the Cross-Media Committee plenary session on March 23, 2009, the ECOS membership passed the following policy resolutions regarding mercury pollution and federal facility cleanup issues (click links for resolution texts):
Clarification of CERCLA Sovereign Immunity Waiver for Federal Facilities
Endorsement of the National Mercury Switch Recovery Program Memorandum of Agreement that Reduces Mercury in the Environment and Provides Flexibility to the States
Mercury Reduction, Stewardship, and Retirement