PITTSBORO — Pittsboro Mayor Kyle Shipp has joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC).
Chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act in 1993, the LGAC is comprised of representatives both elected and appointed from state, tribal, territorial and local governments. Shipp joins fifteen new members representing southern states.
According to an EPA press release, the 37-member committee “will have 24 females and 13 males, including 13 people of color, and representation from 27 different states.”
The 2024 committee will consider issues around community level communication, climate change initiatives, lead and copper rule changes, and plastics pollution concerns.
Committee selections are made based on the number of applicants, geographic location, ethnicity and regional perspective. Mayor Shipp's appointment will give a voice to the concerns of small towns across North Carolina and the southeast, particularly with how environmental policy can help or harm the community’s immediate concerns.
One topic of concern will be polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS, representing growing concern for public health and environmental well being in North Carolina and across the country. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has identified multiple areas where PFAS has affected local drinking water, including Upper Cape Fear River Basin near Pittsboro.
Exposure to polyfluoroalkyl has been linked to numerous health concerns and represents a critical issue for the long term health of affected communities.
"In joining the EPA's Advisory Committee, I am eager to not only represent Pittsboro but to collaborate with other leaders in addressing PFAS challenges,” said Shipp in a statement. “Our town's success in advanced water treatment showcases our commitment to public health and serves as a model for others. I look forward to working together with committee members to develop and share effective strategies for environmental protection.”
The issue is of even greater significance this year with the challenges Pittsboro is facing with its drinking water.
Shipp is in his first term as mayor of Pittsboro.