Policy Wins

Over the years, Women for a Healthy Environment has built coalitions with individuals and organizations to implement policy that helps ensure healthy, happy lives in our communities. While there is still much work to do to ensure environmental health is prioritized in Pennsylvania, WHE celebrates the policy victories that have been accomplished over the years.

Local Level Wins

Pittsburgh Lead Safety Law

Get the Lead out, PGH

The communications awareness campaign, Get the Lead Out Pittsburgh, collaborated with Pittsburgh City Council to pass The Pittsburgh Lead Safety Law in November 2021. This comprehensive ordinance protects Pittsburgh’s children from the lasting harm of lead poisoning by addressing the most common pathways of exposure: paint, dust, soil, and water. WHE helped develop and implement this awareness campaign and proved valuable in advocating for the passage of the new law.

Council passed both a Will of Council addressing lead in water found in our schools and homes and the Pittsburgh Lead Safety Law that requires lead-safe rental homes and child-occupied spaces, lead-safe demolitions, lead-safe renovations and repairs, and lead-safe water in child-occupied city facilities. 

State Level Wins:

Pennsylvania's Whole Homes Repair Act


After months of campaigning around the effort, WHE celebrated a major win for our Healthy Homes program when the Whole Homes Repair Act was passed into law in Pennsylvania on July 9, 2022. With this act, Pennsylvania committed to putting $125 million from the American Rescue Plan into creating the Whole-Home Repairs program. 

The program serves three primary purposes – 1) funding for home repairs; 2) coordination and technical assistance; and 3) workforce development. This program also provides loans and grants of up to $50,000 to homeowners and landlords whose incomes are below 80% of the area’s median income.  This effort is a major win to all Pennsylvanians because it effectively expands access to healthy homes to every individual in every county in Pennsylvania, which helps alleviate the strain of housing inequities experienced throughout the state.

Federal Level Wins

Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act

From our inception in 2010, Women for a Healthy Environment rallied around and advocated for the passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act – and in 2016, the act finally passed! WHE was pivotal in the passage of the Act as we organized several supportive efforts over this six year time, including writing public comments, press releases, and op eds; hosting candidate forums on toxic policies with congressional candidates during the 2010 election, collaborating with safer states and safer chemicals, and supporting and participating in phone call and email campaigns to legislators. 

The act has since proved key in spreading public awareness about the environmental health impact of certain chemicals, as it formally amended the primary law that provides guidelines for chemical safety, the Toxic Substances Control Act; the amendment helps allocate funding so the EPA is empowered to provide clear and enforceable deadlines for evaluating chemicals, risk-based chemical assessments, and transparency to the public about harmful chemicals.

Join us for the:

2022 Healthy Schools PA Summit

Where and When? December 9, 2022 Virtual

8:30am– Welcome from Phil Johnson, Heinz Foundation on the Healthy Schools PA State of the Schools Report 

9:00-10:00am: First Keynote speaker: former Climate Advisor to the Obama Administration and Activist, Molly Kawahata

10:00-11:00am Panel — Teaching Hope to the Next Generation of Climate Leaders in the School Environment  

11:00-11:15am: Break 

11:15-12:15pm – Second Keynote Speaker: Research Scientist and Deputy Indoor Environment Group Leader in Energy Analysis and Environmental Impact Division at Lawrence: Dr. Rengie Chan

12:15 – 12:45 pm: Break for lunch 

12:45– 1:15 pm: Expert presentation on what it takes to promote and protect healthy school environments across PA

1:15 – 2:30 pm – Learning from Experts and Innovators’ Award-Winning Initiatives in School Environmental Health featuring PA Green Ribbon Schools.

2:30pm– Close with final remarks from Healthy Schools PA Program Manager, Shannon Meyers 

Join Us!

Together, we can ensure a safe and healthy environment for our children and those who devote their lives to shaping them into the next generation of leaders. Join engaging panel discussions among community leaders, policymakers, advocates, scientists and families from across our region, state and nation for the Healthy Schools Pennsylvania Summit on December 9, 2022.

Register for this free, virtual event using the link below: