Rosen Co-Sponsors Bill to Prevent Illness and Death Caused By Extreme Heat

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced her co-sponsorship of the Preventing Health Emergencies and Temperature-related (HEAT) Illness and Deaths Act, which would strengthen and expand interagency efforts to address extreme heat, provide $100 million in financial assistance to communities for projects that would help reduce extreme heat exposure, and offer recommendations for federal action on heat-health related issues.

“Nevada has long experienced extreme heat, but average temperatures are rising every year because of climate change. Las Vegas is one of the fastest-warming cities in the United States with average summer temperatures rising 5.6 degrees,” said Senator Rosen. “Every year more than 600 people throughout the U.S. are killed by the extreme heat, often disproportionately impacting low-income communities, communities of color, and tribal communities. We must take action now to address extreme heat as temperatures continue to rise. This legislation will help strengthen federal efforts to address extreme heat and help cities mitigate the effects of rising temperatures.”

BACKGROUND: Specifically, the Preventing HEAT Illness and Deaths Act would:

  • Establish the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) Interagency Committee and enhance interagency efforts to address extreme heat.
  • Formalize the NIHHIS Program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which was initiated by President Obama in June 2015. 
  • Require the NIHHIS Program to conduct a study on extreme heat and issue recommendations for policy, research, operations, communications, and data gaps affecting heat-health planning, preparedness, response, resilience, adaptation, and environmental justice and equity.
  • Establish a $100 million financial assistance program to provide federal funding to community projects that reduce the health impact of extreme heat events, prioritizing projects in historically disadvantaged communities and communities with significant heat disparities associated with race or income.

This legislation is endorsed by the Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility, American Public Health Association, Climate Psychiatry Alliance, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, and Climate for Health.