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Existing laws/regulations, proposed changes, agencies involved

Laws and policies regarding the use of substances in industrial and commercial applications are changing as we become more aware of the effects these substances have on our bodies and on our environment. Many changes have been made over the last half-century, and many more are being considered. Rules and programs now exist at all levels of government, and there are many different agencies involved in their enforcement.

At the Federal level, much of the responsibility rests with the Environmental Protection Agency.
Their "Draft Guidance for Evaluating the Vapor Intrusion to Indoor Air Pathway from Groundwater and Soils (Subsurface Vapor Intrusion Guidance)" was released in November 2002.
A directory of the various EPA and other agency health and regulatory levels for many toxins can be found here.

Occupational exposures are the concern of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Toxins are the specific charge of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which maintains profiles of the toxins and is a useful source of much information

In New York State, the primary agencies involved are:
- The Department of Environmental Conservation
more specifically, the Division of Environmental Remediation
and the Department of Health.

Within Tompkins County, primary concerns about environmental issues are the responsibility of the Department of Health.

The City of Ithaca has made environmental issues the concern of the Planning, Economic Development, and Environmental Quality Committee

Some of the most encouraging recent progress has been made by the NYS Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation.
The report they issued on February 1, 2006 is a summary of their considerable research and hearings on toxins intrusion and related issues issues.  On March 27, 2006, Assemblyman Thomas P. DiNapoli, Chair of the NYS Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, released an extensive set of Comments on the Draft Regulations for the State Superfund Program Environmental Restoration Program Brownfield Cleanup Program. This is a carefully-documented and well-researched document. Many of his references are to testimony collected at the Cornell Waste Management Institute web site.

On May 10, 2006, The Assembly passed Bill Number A10633, requiring that property owners be notified within 30 days of results from any tests performed by or for responsible parties on their properties. This Bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Barbara S. Lifton. The Assembly also passed Bill Number A10120, requiring that tenants of properties which have been tested be notified of the results of those tests. This Bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.



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