Environmental Quality

Goal 2: Prevent human exposure to environmental hazards: water, air, food and waste management
Source: Health Department     EQ Goal2     3/5/2014
About this measure:
The EPA Air Quality Index is a standard measure used across the US to communicate to the public on the potential for health impacts from air pollution. Our goal is to have over 90% of our days in the “Good” category, which indicates air that is safe for everyone to breathe. In March of 2013, the Federal standard for fine particulate (PM2.5) was lowered. Thus, in 2013, only 78% of days met the goal of “Good” air quality.
Why this is important:
Good air quality is vital to everyone’s health. The Health Department Air Quality Program’s primary goal is to protect the public’s health by ensuring our air is safe to breathe.
What is being done:
The Health Department:
- provides technical assistance to businesses and industries on air quality regulations;
- monitors air quality and updates the Air Quality Index daily;
- issues operating and construction permits;
- completes detailed inventories of all air pollution;
- conducts inspections of over 200 regulated businesses and of asbestos removal projects;
- investigates complaints on air pollution;
- takes enforcement actions.

Source: Health Department     EQ Goal2     4/2/2014
About this measure:
LLCHD operates the Household Hazardous Waste Collection events and collects data on the quantity and types of waste collected.
Why this is important:
Collecting hazardous waste prevents children and pets from being poisoned or injured by toxic substances. The Health Department Household Hazardous Waste Program’s primary goal is to protect human health and the environment by reducing exposures to hazardous waste. It also reduces hazardous waste going to our landfill or being dumped illegally.
What is being done:
The Health Department:
- coordinates 6 to 10 hazardous waste collections each year;
- works with business partners to host collections; and
- educates the public on choosing least toxic alternatives and proper disposal.

Source: Health Department     EQ Goal2     12/3/2014
About this measure:
The Health Department receives complaints from the public on concerns with sanitation in food establishments and from people that believe they have become ill from eating food. Complaints on foodborne illness are a top priority and are investigated quickly.
Why this is important:
Safe food is important to everyone. The Health Department Food Safety Program’s primary goal is to prevent foodborne illness and deaths from food produced at the retail level. Foodborne illness poses a significant burden of illness. Applying CDC estimates to Lancaster County, each year about 50,000 people contract foodborne illness, 120 are hospitalized and 3 die.
What is being done:
The Food Safety Program:
- provides food handler training to over 10,000 workers each year;
- permits over 2000 certified Food Protection Manager;.
- conducts over 2,300 inspections of about 1,300 permitted food establishments (restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, schools, etc.) each year;
- reviews plans for new and remodeled facilities;
- helps managers implement actions to prevent foodborne illness and improve sanitation;
- investigates complaints and foodborne illness outbreaks; and
- takes enforcement actions when violations pose a risk to the public’s health.
The Food Safety Program is based on the 2009 FDA Food Code, and is guided by FDA Retail Food Program Standards and the Food Advisory Committee.