EPA, Midwest States Form Asbestos Consortium

It's little surprise that 18- to 34-year-olds are at the heart of a nationwide increase in illegal drug use, and the manufacturing industry traditionally draws heavily from this pool of job seekers.

Six upper Midwest states have joined with EPA's Region 5 to coordinate asbestos control efforts. States in the Midwest Regional Environmental Consortium (MWREC) are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The group will serve as a forum for sharing information to improve asbestos programs. In the works are agreements on consistent procedures for improving asbestos training courses and certifying asbestos workers.

"The MWREC will provide better customer service to asbestos contractors, their workers and, ultimately, Midwestern citizens by providing regulatory consistency and improving training and certification program efficiencies," said Phyllis Reed, EPA's chief of the Pesticides and Toxics branch.

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