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Topic 3. Public Health Action Plans

  • Information to Include

A public health action plan should address

  • who will carry out the recommendations

  • when the recommendations will be carried out

  • the objectives and desired outcomes of carrying out the action

  • logistical issues involved with carrying out the action

Example Worksheet for Developing Recommendations and PHAP

	icon_resource Example Worksheet for Developing Recommendations and PHAP (Completed to Show a Biologic Monitoring Action)

Action Objective(s) Desired Outcome(s) Issues That Need To Be Addressed Who Will Implement? (Name/entity, address, telephone number, e-mail) Commitment Received (yes/no) Time Line for Completion
Collect blood samples to test for lead exposure (for children ages 6 months to 7 years) Identify and test all at-risk children (will capture current exposure status only; will not identify past or potential future exposures) Determine if and to what extent children are being exposed to lead
  • If exposure is occurring, how can it be reduced or eliminated?
  • If exposure is occurring, can the site be distinguished as the source rather than other sources (e.g., lead paint in homes)? 
  • If no exposure is found, will that change the site conclusion category?
Local health department in cooperation with ATSDR Yes, with laboratory assistance provided by ATSDR Summer (time during which greatest soil exposures expected)

Examples of public health action plans

	icon_resource  *Examples of Public Health Action Plans

Actions undertaken 

  • On-site residents were provided with an alternate safe water supply (municipal water) in 1989 when contamination was first identified. 
  • In 1992, the PRPs installed a "pump and treat" system to clean up groundwater and prevent the migration of contaminated groundwater. 
  • EPA's Record of Decision (ROD) for the site requires quarterly groundwater monitoring at and downgradient of the site. 

Actions under way

  • The PRPs, under EPA oversight, will continue to monitor groundwater on a quarterly basis until cleanup goals are met. 
  • The site owner will maintain the fencing and site security until cleanup actions are completed. 

Actions planned 

  • The PRPs, under EPA oversight, will sample residential surface soil (top 3 inches) during its next round of groundwater sampling. 
  • The PRPs, under EPA oversight, will remediate site soils in 2004. 
  • The state health department will hold public availability sessions (for community members and health care providers) to discuss the findings of the cancer cluster study before the end of the year. 
  • ATSDR will review new groundwater and soil monitoring data as they become available and modify the conclusions of this public health assessment as necessary.


ATSDR. 1994. National exposure registry policies and procedures manual (revised). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services. ATSDR. 1996. Guidance for ATSDR health studies. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services. April 1996

* If the site poses no public health hazard (Conclusion Category 5), a PHAP may not be necessary.

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