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EPA Administrator Wheeler Appoints New Member from Purdue University to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee

EPA Administrator Wheeler Appoints New Member from Purdue University to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee

WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. (June 17, 2020) -- Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler is announcing the appointment of thirty-three members to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC), including Dr. Charles R. Santerre from Purdue University. Established in 2008, the FRRCC provides independent policy advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA administrator on a range of environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities.

“One of my priorities for EPA has been to restore trust for our agency among agricultural stakeholders and rural communities,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “President Trump has been clear about the Administration’s commitment to agriculture and rural America, and as part of that commitment, I am excited to reinstate the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee in 2020 with full membership. This committee will provide valuable input on how EPA’s decisions impact rural America, and I look forward to receiving the committee’s recommendations.”

“Across the Great Lakes region, farmers are working together to find innovative solutions to address environmental issues. In addition to the partnerships and collaboration we are fostering with the agricultural sector in our Region, the FRRCC is another way for farmers and rural communities to provide input to EPA, so that future decisions better reflect the challenges the agriculture community is facing,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede. “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Charles R. Santerre along with representatives from Illinois and Michigan to the committee and look forward to their contributions.”

“It is an honor to serve on the FRRCC,” said Dr. Charles R. Santerre, Professor of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue University. “This important committee continues to provide policy advice to the EPA Administrator related to environmental issues affecting the agricultural sector. In times of economic downturn or as we are currently experiencing with the pandemic, rural communities are more severely affected. It is important to understand that rural communities are the life blood of our great nation. Food and agriculture provides a stabilizing influence especially during these challenging times and EPA understands that environmental issues play an important role for keeping our rural communities healthy.”

“My congratulations to Dr. Charles R. Santerre on his appointment to the FRRCC,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Baird (IN-04). “His work at Purdue University, on food toxicology has helped ensure the safety of our food supply. He will be a valuable addition to the committee, bringing his expertise and his desire to use scientific evidence to best serve the public.”

To build a broad and balanced representation of perspectives for the FRRCC, EPA selected 33 members to represent a variety of relevant sectors from across the U.S., including agricultural stakeholders and allied industries; academia; state, local, and tribal government; and nongovernmental organizations. In selecting committee members, EPA reviewed the quality of applications received between November 7 and December 31, 2019 for nearly 150 nominations, and considered qualifications such as: whether candidates have experience in agricultural issues of relevance to EPA programs, are actively engaged in agricultural production, have related leadership experience, demonstrated ability to examine and analyze complex environmental issues with objectivity and integrity, have experience working on issues where building consensus is necessary, and are able to volunteer time to the committee’s activities.

The committee had no current members at the time of solicitation; therefore, these 33 nominees will constitute a brand new committee, and will each serve two or three year terms beginning on June 15, 2020. The new members of the FRRCC hail from twenty-four states and one territory in all ten U.S. EPA Regions, with six of the Members working in multiple states or at a national capacity. The Committee expects to meet approximately twice a year beginning in late Summer of 2020.

Read the press release here.