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State committee to host hearing on local pollution


ITHACA -- Members of the state Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee will hold a public hearing in Ithaca later this month to examine the impact of soil and groundwater contamination on human health.

The hearing will start at 10:30 a.m. April 21 at the Ithaca Town Hall, 215 N. Tioga St. The 28-member Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation is chaired by Nassau County Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli, D-16th District. Among its members is local Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-125th District.

Contamination around Emerson Power Transmission in the city is a key reason why the committee has decided to come here. At issue is trichloroethene -- or TCE --pollution around the plant, which sits high atop South Hill above residential neighborhoods. Used by previous owners before Emerson bought the facility, TCE leaked into the soil over many years.

That's not the only local concern that will be addressed. Lifton's office said representatives from the Washington Park neighborhood -- where decades-old coal tar contamination is being cleaned out from under the streets -- also have been invited to attend. The Assembly committee has been studying contamination of indoor air by volatile chemicals from contaminated soil -- called vapor intrusion -- in other locations, including Broome County.

The public may attend the April 21 hearing, but oral testimony will be accepted by invitation only. Written testimony will be accepted and can be sent to: Alex Roth, principal legislative analyst, program and council staff, Capitol Room 520, Albany, 12248. Roth's e-mail address is

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