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UW-Madison’s Persico speaks with ‘Marketplace’ for report on new EPA Superfund list

December 15, 2017

UW-Madison’s Claudia Persico recently appeared on “Marketplace” to talk about the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency announced 21 new places to be deemed Superfund sites -– even though current budget proposals call for cuts to the Superfund program.

Persico is an associate professor with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. As a multidisciplinary policy scholar, she studies the intersection of environmental policy and education policy. In particular, her recent work examines how early exposure to environmental pollution can cause inequality by affecting child health, development and schooling outcomes.

As part of this work, “Marketplace” notes that Persico has studied Superfund cleanup and that the program has big benefits for human health.

Persico tells “Marketplace” that the program “reduces not only the risk of cancer but also the risk of learning disabilities because the (hazardous waste) can potentially affect brain development.”

A Superfund site is any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the EPA as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or the environment. These sites are placed on the National Priorities List.

But there are concerns, “Marketplace” points out, that the EPA’s move to announce the 21 new Superfund sites is little more than lip service as the federal government doesn’t plan to add funding to support the program. In fact, President Donald Trump’s budget proposal calls for 30 percent cut to the program.

To listen to the report, visit this marketplace.org web page.

The “Marketplace” portfolio of programs are produced and distributed by American Public Media, one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world. These programs are currently broadcast on 800 public radio stations nationwide and heard by more than 14 million weekly listeners.

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