NEW YORK — State Senator Malcolm Smith introduced legislation Friday that would ban the use of perchloroethylene in drycleaning and auto body repair in New York State by 2012. Smith represents constituents in the borough of Queens, where perc contamination was discovered in drinking water last month.
“Perc has caused major concerns in my own district, and I believe it is appropriate to ban the use of this chemical from the entire state and replace it with healthier and environmentally friendly products,” Smith said in a press conference held at his offices on Sunday. “Knowing that we have alternatives, why should we wait for a health crisis to take the appropriate measures on this issue?”
The bill calls for the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to work with perc users to replace the solvent by 2012. A Democrat, Smith is the minority leader in the State Senate, which many expect to revert to the party’s control in the 2008 election under Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer.