|From:||Lenny Siegel <email@example.com>|
|Date:||17 Mar 2006 23:14:34 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-BIF] Siegel testimony on New York regs|
[Earlier this week I testified at a hearing of the New York Department
of Environmental Conservation about its draft environmental cleanup
regulations. I called upon New York to directly address vapor intrusion
in its regs. Below is the introduction to my testimony, followed by a
link to the entire document. - LS]|
NEW YORK'S BROWNFIELDS AND ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP REGULATIONS SHOULD DIRECTLY ADDRESS VAPOR INTRUSION:
Testimony before the New York Department of Environmental Conservation
March 15, 2006
New York State agencies are among the leaders in addressing vapor intrusion, the surfacing of toxic gases into our homes and communities. The state's new environmental cleanup regulations should directly address issues associated with the vapor intrusion pathway, particularly the questions of where, when, and how to approve development on properties with a potential for vapor intrusion.
My name is Lenny Siegel. As Executive Director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight, I work with community groups throughout New York state and across the nation on vapor intrusion and other environmental health threats. As a resident of Mountain View, California, site of at least four ongoing vapor intrusion investigations, I deal directly with these issues in my own community.
New York's brownfield law requires cleanups at contaminated brownfield sites to be protective of public health and the environment, including indoor air. In addition to other remedies, the law requires the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York Department of Health (DOH) to develop contaminant-specific soil cleanup objectives (SCOs) that are protective not only of future users of contaminated sites but also of adjacent residential uses. Because of uncertainties associated with off-site exposure models, the DEC and DOH opted to not address vapor intrusion in the draft SCOs and instead to address contamination on a case-by-case basis pursuant to DOH's February 2005 draft "Guidance for Evaluating Soil Vapor Intrusion in the State of New York." I have reviewed and commented on that document as well as the Department of Environmental Conservation's November 2004 draft Program Policy, "Evaluating the Potential for Vapor Intrusion at Past, Current, and Future Sites." Both serve as excellent practical handbooks for conducting vapor intrusion investigations, but in themselves they do not provide sufficient protection to the people who now or in the future will live, work, study, and play in or near contaminated areas.
Therefore, I suggest that New York's environmental remediation regulations incorporate the following three approaches:
* The known or likely presence of any volatile organic compound below or near a property should trigger a tiered vapor intrusion screening, based upon vapor-phase sampling, and the SCO's required by statute should err on the side of caution.
* York should impose short-term institutional controls, requiring vapor intrusion investigations, upon any property participating in its cleanup programs that is suspected of current or future vapor intrusion.
* New York should convene community advisory groups at vapor intrusion investigation sites where there is sufficient public interest.
For the entire testimony, see http://www.cpeo.org/pubs/SiegelNYRegs.doc
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