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NewYorkCityCouncil CommitteeonContracts CommitteeonSanitationandSolidWasteManagement HearingonExaminingtheCity'sCompliancewithEnvironmentallyPreferablePurchasing Laws MichaelSchade,CampaignCoordinator CenterforHealth,Environment&Justice(CHEJ) January27,2012

Goodafternoon,ChairwomanJames,ChairwomanMealy,andmembersofthecommittee.Thankyou fortheopportunitytotestifytoday. MynameisMikeSchadeandIamaCampaignCoordinatorwiththeCenterforHealth,Environment& Justice,anationalenvironmentalhealthorganizationthatworkstopreventharmfromtoxicchemicals. WehaveworkedinNYStateforalmost30years,startingwiththeworkofourFounderLoisGibbswho ledthesuccessfulcampaigntorelocateover900familiesawayfromtheinfamousLoveCanaltoxic wastedump.Overtheyears,wehaveworkedonnumerousgreenprocurementeffortsinNewYork Stateandnationally. OurtestimonytodaywillspecificallyfocusontheimplementationofNYCLocalLaw120of2005. WeworkedcloselywithmembersoftheCityCouncilbackin2005whenthisandtheothergreen procurementbillsweredevelopedandweremovingthroughthelegislativeprocess.Wereviewedand commentedonthelegislation,submittedsuggestionsonwaystheycouldbeimproved,testifiedataCity CouncilHearing,andworkedwithleadershipontheNYCCounciltoensureitspassage.Weworkedwith abroadcoalitionoforganizationswhoalsosubmittedlettersandtestimonyinsupportofthisinitative. Anumberoftheseorganizationsarewithmeheretoday. Wewereecstaticwhenthislegislationwasenacted.Itwasatremendousaccomplishment. Unfortunately,weareextremelydisappointedbythelackofimplementationofthedioxinpurchasing lawsincethen. ThislawstatesByJanuary1,2008,thedirectorshallpromulgaterulestoreducethecityspurchaseor leaseofmaterialswhosecombustionmayleadtotheformationofdioxinordioxinlikecompounds. Ithasbeenoversixyearssincethelawwasenacted,andoverfouryearssincetheCitywassupposed todevelopregulationstoimplementit.Noregulationshavebeendeveloped.ItscleartheCityisnot incompliancewiththiscriticallyimportantlaw. Thislegislationfocusedonthecityspurchaseofproductsthatformdioxinbecausedioxinisoneof themosttoxicchemicalsontheplanet.Dioxinismorecommonlyrecognizedasthetoxiccontaminant thatwasfoundinAgentOrangeinVietnam.Scientistsacrosstheglobehaverecognizedthatexposure

todioxinisaglobalhealththreat.Dioxinisclassifiedasachemicalknowntocausecancerinhumans. Dioxinexposureisalsoassociatedwith: Endometriosis; Diabetes Decreasedfertility; Miscarriages; Loweredtestosteronelevels; Decreasedspermcounts; Decreasestestissize; Birthdefects; Learningdisabilities; IQdeficits; Effectsontheimmunesystem; Thelistgosonandon.Becauseofthesehealthconcerns,over170nationsacrosstheworldhave signedaglobaltreatytophaseitout. ThatswhytheNYCCouncilenactedthislegislationover6yearsago.Thatswhywereheretoday. Wheredoesdioxincomefrom?HowcanNYCfinallyimplementthisgreenprocurementpolicy? Aplasticknownaspolyvinylchloride,whichstandsforPVCorvinyl,isoneofthelargestsourcesof dioxininAmerica.Whenitsentirelifecycleisconsidered,theproductionanddisposalofpolyvinyl chloride(PVCorvinyl)appearstobeassociatedwithmoredioxinformationthananyothersingle productpurchasedbyNYCagencies.Dioxinisreleasedwhentheplasticismanufactured,and especiallywhenitsburnedinincinerators,landfills,andevenaccidentalbuildingfires.Asweknow, muchofNYCswaste,includingPVCwaste,endsupinincineratorsandlandfills.Infact,NYSis#2inthe countryforburningPVCinincinerators.Justafewweeksago,theEPAannouncedthenumberone facilityinAmericathatreportedreleasingdioxinisaPVCplantinKentuckythatmakesPVCbuildingand consumerproducts.TheverysametypesofPVCproductsthatNYCgovernmentalagenciespurchase. ThisimpactsallofusbecausewhenPVCisburnedandreleasesdioxinintotheatmosphere,dioxinthen settlesoncrops.Cowsandotheranimalstheneatthedioxincontaminatedcrops,weeatthoseanimals anddrinkmilk,andthenwereexposedtodioxinfromthefoodweeat.Thechemicalthenbuildsupin ourbodies.Infact,virtuallyeverysingleresidentofNYChasdioxinintheirbodies. NYCagenciespurchaseandusemanyproductsmadeoutofPVCplastic.Thisincludesofficesupplies suchas3ringbinders,paperclips,computers,laptops,reportcovers,andotherproducts.Thisalso includesbuildingmaterialssuchascarpeting,flooring,furniture,wallcoverings,windows,roofing, playgroundequipment,siding,andmanyothers. WhentheCityCouncilenactedthislegislationbackin2005,CityCouncilstaffputtogetherareportthat explainedwhythecitywantedtotackledioxin.Inthisveryreport,theCityCouncilstaffdiscussedthe therelationshipbetweendioxinandPVC.Thisreportclearlydemonstratesthatreducingthepurchase ofPVCtoavoiddioxinwastheintentofthelegislation.Theresnoquestionaboutit.Ihaveattached thosepagestomytestimony.

AfterthelegislationwassignedintolawbyMayorBloomberg,anaidetoCityCouncilSpeakerGifford Millerwasquotedinaplasticsindustrytradejournal.TheaidetotheCityCouncilSpeakersaid,Its fairlyobvioustheywillgettoPVCbecauseitisoneofthemostwidelypurchasedchlorinatedproducts. Yet,herewearetoday,oversixyearslater. Thankfully,itsnotallgloomanddoom.Safer,costeffectivealternativestoPVCproductsarereadily availableforNYCagenciestopurchase.AnumberofothercitiesaroundtheU.S.andworldhave enactedpoliciestoreducethepurchaseofPVC.TheU.S.GreenBuildingCouncilsLEEDprogram providesincentivestoavoidbuildingmaterialssuchasPVCthatreleasedioxin.Scoresofmajor corporationslikeStaples,WalMart,Apple,HP,Procter&Gamble,andmanyothersarephasingoutthe purchaseofPVC. StaplesinparticularhasbeentransitioningawayfromPVCofficesuppliesinrecentyearsandnowoffers saferPVCfreeproductsthatNYCagenciescanpurchase.Wevesurveyedtheirstores,andhave identifieddozensofproductstheyusedtosellthatwouldcontaintoxicPVC.Thankfullytheyhave transitionedtosaferPVCfreematerialsthatNYCagenciescannowpurchase.Hereisanexampleofa PVCfreebindermadebyAverythatIpurchasedatStaples,justafewblocksfromhereonBroadway recently.YoullseeonitscoveritslabeledPVCfree. HereinNewYork,thestateOfficeofGeneralServiceshasdevelopedalistof85hazardouschemicalsof concerntoavoidpurchasing,whichincludesdioxin,phthalatesandotherchemicalsthatarealluniquely associatedwithPVCproducts.Toimplementthischemicalavoidancelist,thestaterecentlydeveloped PVCfreepurchasingspecificationsforstatecarpetingcontracts.Webelievethereareopportunitiesfor NYCandNYSgovernmentstocollaboratetoimplementthisdioxinprocurementinitiativetogether. WewouldalsoliketoworkwiththeBloombergAdministrationandthecityCounciltofinallyimplement thisimportantlaw. ThispastMay,weandacoalitionofover20local,stateandnationalorganizationssentalettertothe NYCMayor'sOfficeofContractServices(MOCS)expressingdeepconcernaboutthisveryissue.The letterwassignedbyenvironmental,health,labor,andcommunityenvironmentaljusticegroups includingUFT,CSEA,NYCOSH,MaketheRoadNY,WEACT,MothersontheMove,NRDC,NYPIRG,NY LawyersforthePublicInterest,andothers. Inourletter,andtoday,weandourcoalitionpartnersstronglyrecommendthattheMayorsOfficeof ContractServicesfinallydraftthedioxinregulations,andspecificallyincludepolyvinylchloride(PVC) freepurchasinggoalsandprovisionsintherulestoimplementLocalLaw120of2005,asthelawwas clearlyintendedtodo. Wewouldwelcometheopportunityto,andhopetoworkwiththeBloombergAdministrationandCity Counciltofinallydoso. Thankyoufortheopportunitytotestifybeforeyoutoday.