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Introduced Version Senate Resolution 76 History

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SENATE RESOLUTION 76

(By Senators Baldwin, Jeffries, Stollings, Beach, and Hamilton)

[Introduced March 9, 2019]

Urging the Environmental Protection Agency, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and Centers for Disease Control to assist Minden, West Virginia, residents with both relocation assistance and specialized medical treatment as a result of their long-term exposure to polychlorinated biphenyl, dioxins, and dibenzofurans.

Whereas, Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) is a toxic substance known to cause harm to human health and the health of the environment; and

Whereas, PCB’s were burned in Minden, West Virginia; and

Whereas, When PCB’s are burned, they can form dioxins and dibenzofurans which are toxic chemicals; and

Whereas, It has been confirmed by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that PCB contamination has spread throughout Minden, West Virginia; and

Whereas, The EPA has proposed Minden, West Virginia, for the National Priorities List of Superfund sites, a designation reserved for the most toxic sites in the United States; and

Whereas, Polychlorinated biphenyl contamination has been discovered on residential properties in Minden, West Virginia; and

Whereas, Frequent flooding spreads PCB contamination further throughout Minden, West Virginia; and

Whereas, The true extent of PCB contamination has not yet been discovered; and

Whereas, The community members in Minden, West Virginia, believe that PCB contamination is a contributing factor to alarming rates of cancer amongst other illnesses; and

Whereas, There are many Minden, West Virginia, residents that wish to be relocated so that they can abstain from the future risks to their health; and

Whereas, Minden, West Virginia, residents do not have access to medical services that are specific to PCB exposure, yet these resources exist in society; and

Whereas, The presence of PCB contamination is reducing property values in Minden, West Virginia, which decreases the ability of residents to move according to their will; and

Whereas, The EPA, WVDEP, WVBPH, ATSDR, and CDC are not readily willing to relocate Minden, West Virginia, residents who wish to be relocated; and

Whereas, Minden, West Virginia, residents have lived amongst PCB contamination for many decades; and

Whereas, Chronic and multigenerational exposure to PCB’s across many decades has not been adequately studied from a public health perspective by CDC, ATSDR, and WVBPH; and

Whereas, Exposure to PCB has been correlated with brain cancer, breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, liver cancer, lung cancer, malignant melanoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, thyroid cancer, nonmelanoma skin cancer, recurrent infections, skin infections, respiratory infections, harm to the immune system, lowered IQ, abnormal reflexes, greater response to stress, less habituation to repeated stimuli,  modified Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale results, memory reduction, anxiety, depression, thyroid disease, reduced testosterone in males, longer menstrual cycles, reduced sperm mobility, endometriosis, earlier menarche in young women, elevated plasma triglyceride levels, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, diastolic blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease, asthma, arthritis, low birthweight, shortened gestation periods, chloracne, porphyria cutanea tarde, soft tissue sarcoma, eczema, benign fatty tumors, epidermoid cysts, rash not otherwise specified, dyschromia, skin sensitivity, and NMSCs, rare diseases, and possibly more illnesses yet to be discovered; and

Whereas, It is inhumane to expect people to continue to live in an environment that can harm them; and

Whereas, The concerns that Minden, West Virginia, residents have about their health while living in Minden, West Virginia, have merit; and

Whereas, The EPA has failed to remediate Minden, West Virginia, after three separate clean-up attempts; and

Whereas, Future efforts of EPA and WVDEP will be focusing on cleanup of Minden, West Virginia; and

Whereas, The long term nature of remediation will not adequately meet all of the needs of Minden, West Virginia, residents; and

Whereas, Relocation and long term specialized health resources have been deemed an essential need by Minden-led community groups since the 1980’s; therefore, be it

Resolved by Legislature of West Virginia:

That the Legislature hereby urges the Environmental Protection Agency, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and Centers for Disease Control to assist Minden, West Virginia, residents with both relocation assistance and specialized medical treatment as a result of their long-term exposure to polychlorinated biphenyl, dioxins, and dibenzofurans; and, be it

Further Resolved, That Minden, West Virginia, residents who need life-long access to specialized health care resources that are familiar with the health consequences of PCB, dioxin, and dibenzofuran exposure be provided the assistance to obtain such medical care; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the Senate is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Commissioner for the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and Director of the Centers for Disease Control.

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