New York Legislature Votes to Ban Toxic Trichloroethylene

Prohibition of most uses of TCE passed in both New York Senate and Assembly, heads to Governor

(Albany, New York – July 23, 2020) – Today, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed 6829-B (Kaminsky) / A. 8829-A (Englebright), to prohibit the use of trichloroethylene (TCE) as a vapor degreaser, a refrigerant, an extraction solvent, and in other applications. Pending Governor Cuomo’s signature, the law will take effect on December 1, 2021.

Chronic effects from TCE include liver damage and death. It is a known carcinogen and has been banned in most corners of the industrialized world. New York follows closely behind Minnesota, which prohibited the use of TCE in industrial applications in mid-May.

"This is a historic win for workers and. communities all over New York State, who have routinely been exposed to 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 commend Environmental Conservation Chairs Senator Kaminsky and Assemblyman Englebright for putting the safety of New Yorkers at the top of their priorities at a time when it has never been so important."

“Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we put our health and safety above polluters’ pockets,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky, Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Chair and bill sponsor. “My legislation will protect New Yorkers from this cancer-causing chemical and ensure the safety of our communities. Notwithstanding the Trump administration’s inaction, our water is too precious to be contaminated by carcinogens, and I look forward to this bill’s enactment into law.”  

"We can't afford to jeopardize the sole source of drinking water for Long Island and New Yorkers state wide.  This change will help to ensure that our communities are kept healthy and safe.  It is not only a moral imperative -- it's the sensible thing to do," said Steve Englebright, Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair and bill sponsor. "I'm proud to have sponsored this bill to protect New Yorkers' drinking water from this dangerous carcinogen."

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Clean and Healthy New York works for safer chemicals, a sustainable economy, and a healthier world. It co-leads the JustGreen Partnership, over 50 organizations working for environmental health and justice for New York’s people and communities, and leads the national Getting Ready for Baby campaign working to ensure all baby and children’s products are free of harmful chemicals.​

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