The Business Council of New York State opposes A.10254 that would establish an Environmental Health Tracking System, because it is duplicative and not as well designed as the programs the legislation would duplicate. This bill has been before the legislature for over a decade, it is time to strike the enacting clause.
New York’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (EPHT)
The New York State Health Department launched the EPHT Website in 2007. The EPHT provides links to existing environmental and human health data.
- It describes concepts on how the environment affects human health and has links to projects that use health and environmental data.
- The New York State Health Department's Center for Environmental Health built a secure, information system to warehouse environmental and health data. This system helps DOH staff share data, identify unusual patterns and trends and respond to environmental health issues and concerns.
- New York is building an environmental health information system for local health departments and others wanting secure access to environmental and health data. This system will provide data, mapping and discovery capabilities to track trends, promote research and help other efforts to protect New York State communities. Users will access this system through the state's Health Commerce Network.
The New York State Department of Health, 17 other states and New York City are part of the national Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, an effort led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This network was developed to provide nationally consistent environmental and health data. These data can be used to support research, programs and policies that help protect our communities.
- Tracking partners include scientists, information technology specialists, environmental scientists, statisticians, policy makers, educators, healthcare experts, state and local government officials, advocates, academia and members of the public who use data to better understand the complex relationship between the environment and human health.
- Tracking also brings together federal and state agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and other state health and environmental agencies to focus on common goals and share data, technical guidance, and assistance.
New York State has several projects that focus on combining environmental, health and other data to explore possible relationships between environmental hazards and health effects.
- Asthma and Air Quality - This project explores possible relationships and trends in levels of air pollutants and asthma hospitalizations in children.
- Asthma and the School Environment - This project explores possible relationships between indoor air conditions in schools and the respiratory health of school age children.
- Air Quality and Birth Outcomes - This project explores possible relationships between air pollution and reproductive outcomes.
- Drinking Water and Birth Outcomes - This project explores the relationship between birth outcomes, including birth defects, low birth weight, and prematurity, and levels of contaminants called disinfection by-products in public drinking water supplies.
Chapter 638 of the Laws of 2008 established the environmental facility and cancer incidence map law. The bill requires similar provisions to the proposed legislation, but does not amend the original text. The legislation contained a requirement of the development of security protocols that is missing in this legislation.
The Business Council of New York State does not support this legislation because it is duplicative and not as well designed as the programs the legislation would duplicate.