Assemblywoman Lupardo to Testify at U.S. Senate Hearing

Lupardo to travel to Washington DC to discuss TCE

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) has been invited to testify in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works at a hearing on "Perchlorate and TCE in Water," at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 6, 2008. The purpose of the hearing is to receive testimony on issues associated with perchlorate and TCE in the nation’s water.

Prior to her election, Lupardo was a member of the Resident Action Group of Endicott (RAGE) and the Stakeholders Planning Committee. She serves on the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee and helped produce the Assembly report "Vapor Intrusion of Toxic Chemicals: An Emerging Public Health Concern."

In her testimony, Lupardo will address The Toxic Chemical Exposure (TCE) Reduction Act, which was introduced by U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-Hurley) and is pending before Congress. The legislation would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish regulations to limit public exposure to the solvent. TCE has been associated with a variety of illness ranging from nervous system damage to a variety of cancer diagnoses. It can be especially dangerous for pregnant women and young children.

The legislation requires the EPA "administrator to publish a health advisory for TCE that fully protects, with an adequate margin of safety, the health of susceptible populations (including pregnant women, infants, and children), taking into consideration body weight, exposure patterns, and all routes of exposure," and that "a national primary drinking water regulation for TCE" be proposed.

Lupardo will discuss the Village of Endicott’s experience with TCE contamination and will urge passage of the legislation. "We have been waiting (for a very long time) for the federal government to provide leadership on this important health issue," said Lupardo. "A nationwide approach is needed, rather than the current hodgepodge of state guidelines."

Lupardo is also expected to raise several other issues in her testimony. She will challenge the current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guideline for workplace exposure to TCE which is substantially higher than residential levels. She will also express reservations about the EPA’s new IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System) assessment program. Critics of the program have charged the Bush administration with putting up bureaucratic roadblocks that will delay the timely evaluation and regulation of chemicals.