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Kansas City EPA Scientist Wins Federal Executive Board Leadership Award

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Ben Washburn (

Environmental News


EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., May 13, 2020) - The Kansas City Federal Executive Board has recognized EPA Life Scientist Steven Cody Brown with an individual leadership award. The award recognizes Brown’s achievements last year in improving the health of Region 7 citizens by implementing results-oriented outreach efforts relating to indoor and outdoor air quality, lead contamination in homes, and finalizing a multiyear Kansas City transportation air quality study.

“EPA scientists like Cody Brown set a remarkable standard of excellence in science and public service,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford. “Cody’s accomplishments this past year advancing environmental awareness about key issues such as residential lead contamination, radon, and air quality across our four-state region demonstrate his total commitment to EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment.”

Specifically, Brown developed and implemented a radon outreach campaign for the region’s 14 million citizens, educating the public on radon risks and preventive measures. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and is responsible for about 21,000 deaths per year. The outreach campaign provided life-saving information on how to test for radon, and if found, how to mitigate it.

In addition to his radon work, Brown also played a leading role in EPA Region 7’s lead outreach campaign in St. Joseph, Missouri. By developing and implementing an outreach campaign that included public service announcements placed in local movie theaters, a school poster contest about the hazards of lead, and over 20 outreach events, Brown’s efforts in St. Joseph reached more than 58,000 local citizens. 

Finally, in 2019, Brown finalized the multiyear Kansas City Transportation Air Quality Study (KC-TRAQS). This study aimed to provide air quality information for Kansas City, Kansas, residents and advanced air monitoring technology for use by other states and communities. The study also engaged local area residents by allowing them to use mobile air monitoring technology, called an AirMapper. These lunchbox-size stations were placed at the local library for checkout and also used to engage students in area classrooms. The results of the study demonstrated that local Kansas City, Kansas, air quality was well within national air quality standards, providing peace of mind to the community in addition to the educational opportunities the project afforded.

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