Governor Cuomo Signs Ban on Toxic Trichloroethylene
(Albany, New York – December 23, 2020) – Today, Governor Cuomo signed 6829-B (Kaminsky) / A. 8829-A (Englebright), to prohibit the use of trichloroethylene (TCE) as a vapor degreaser, refrigerant, extraction solvent, and in other applications.
TCE is a chemical commonly found in Superfund sites throughout New York State, and has recently received attention for plumes of groundwater contamination on Long Island. TCE can cause cancer and damage to the liver and kidneys, as well as the immune, central nervous and endocrine systems. Humans can be harmed by TCE through inhalation, the consumption of food or beverages in its vicinity, and from soil and drinking water.
“New York State has led all year on environmental health. It’s no surprise we’re banning a chemical so toxic that most of the world banned it decades ago,” said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York. “We are grateful to Governor Cuomo, Senator Kaminsky, and Assemblyman Englebright for working toward a time when all New Yorkers can trust their drinking water is safe, and for leading us through a year of environmental health policies that we can all be benefit from.”
“The science is clear: TCE is dangerous, causing cancer and fetal heart defects — and poses a grave danger to human health,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee. “Our water is too important to be jeopardized, and our children are too precious to be sold out to reckless polluters. By signing my bill into law, New York is taking a seismic step in protecting the health of all our communities across this great State — from Buffalo to Baldwin.”
“I am proud to have championed this legislation to ensure New Yorkers’ drinking water, workplaces and homes are safe,” said Steve Englebright, Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair. “I thank Senator Kaminsky and commend Governor Cuomo for working together to protect drinking water in New York State from this dangerous carcinogen.”
“On behalf of WE ACT’s members and the other residents of Northern Manhattan, we would like to thank Governor Cuomo for giving us the gift of a future that will be free from trichloroethylene, a toxic chemical that can cause cancer and damage to the liver, kidneys, and the immune, central nervous, and endocrine systems,” said Sonal Jessel, Director of Policy at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “This dangerous chemical is widely used in many of the trades and businesses that are located in and employ people in low-income communities and communities of color. We thank the Governor for his continued leadership in working to ban these environmental threats that disproportionately impact our communities.”
Clean and Healthy New York (CHNY) is an environmental health advocacy organization working for safer chemicals, a sustainable economy, and a healthier world by advancing policy and market changes at the local, state, and national levels. It co-leads with WE ACT for Environmental Justice the JustGreen Partnership, a coalition of over 50 organizations representing a million New Yorkers working for environmental health and justice for New York’s people and communities. www.chny.org www.just-green.org