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Profile: New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

 
  

Positions that New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has held:



 

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New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) actively participated in the following events:

 
  

September 18, 2001      911 Environmental Impact

       The State of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation monitors record dioxin levels more than five times higher than normal in water discharged into the Hudson River from a sewer pipe at Rector St. Additionally, the monitors find PCBs and dioxin levels in the river's sediment that are several times higher than figures recorded in an earlier 1993 study. The EPA does not provide the public with this information. Rather the data is found in internal EPA documents later obtained by the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project through the Freedom of Information Act in October (see October 19, 2001). [New York Daily News, 10/21/2001; Thomas Crosbie Media, 10/26/2001]
People and organizations involved: Environmental Protection Agency, New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), New York Environmental Law and Justice Project
          

October 3, 2001-March 1, 2004      911 Environmental Impact

       EPA Region 2 says at least four times, and the New York City Department of Health and Environmental Protection at least once, that they are using a protective standard under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) to determine whether indoor and outdoor air pose a threat to public health. They assert that the standard is regularly used to determine whether it is safe for school children to return to school buildings after asbestos has been removed or abated. According to the agencies, the standard designates an asbestos level of 70 or fewer structures per square millimeter as safe. [Jenkins memo, March 11, 2002] For example, on a page explaining its “benchmarks, standards and guidelines established to protect public health,” the EPA states: “In evaluating data from the World Trade Center and the surrounding areas, EPA is using a protective standard under AHERA, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, to evaluate the risk from asbestos in the outdoor and indoor air. This is a very stringent standard that is used to determine whether children may re-enter a school building after asbestos has been removed or abated.... To determine asbestos levels, air filters are collected from monitoring equipment through which air in the school building has passed and viewed through a microscope. The number of structures—material that has asbestos fibers on or in it—is then counted. The measurements must be 70 or fewer structures per square millimeter before children are allowed inside.” [EPA, 3/1/2004] But according to Title 40, part 763.90, of the Code of Federal Regulations, the 70 s/mm [Jenkins, 3/11/2002] Instead, AHERA sets as the EPA's cleanup goal an exposure level which scientists have determined has a risk level lower than the EPA's maximum risk level of 10 [Sources: EPA, CASRN 1332-21-4, n.d., Jenkins memo, March 11, 2002] The significance of the two agencies' misstatements cannot be overstated as the 70 s/mm [Jenkins, 3/11/2002]
People and organizations involved: New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Cate Jenkins, PhD., Environmental Protection Agency  Additional Info 
          

November 13, 2001      911 Environmental Impact

       The City of New York supplies the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with the original version of its transmission electron microscopy (TEM) test results on air asbestos levels. [Jenkins, 7/15/2004] A censored version of the data is later released to the public in early 2002 (see Early 2002).
People and organizations involved: New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
          

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