After the  discovery in 2001 that our well water was contaminated with Trichloroethylene  (TCE) the EPA sent letters to 800 home owners in unincorporated Lisle Township telling us to immediately stop using our water. We could not drink or cook with our water. We could not bathe in our water. We were instructed to shower with a window open or exhaust fan on so we would breath in the toxic chemical. For two and a half years we lived in a home that had no value. We worried about the health of our children, our friends and neighbors. We attended meetings of all local government bodies, traveled to Springfield and worked with the U.S. EPA to find a safe water supply. .

The EPA has classified TCE “likely to be carcinogenic in humans by all routes of exposure.”

In December of 2016 the EPA published a proposed rule that would ban the use of TCE under the Toxic Substance Control Act based on health risks from its commercial and consumer use as a degreaser and spot cleaner in the dry cleaning process. According to the EPA the use of TCE in this manner causes an “unreasonable risk to human health.” In December of 2017 the EPA suggested that it would overturn or delay the ban on toxic chemicals including TCE.

As soon as I learned of the plan to overturn the toxic chemical ban I contacted my colleague Sam Tornatore who serves as Chairman of the Legislative Committee. I explained in an email our experience and that of our neighbors with the toxic chemical TCE. I asked that DuPage County take a position and support of the ban of TCE and other toxic chemicals.

I am pleased that the 2018 DuPage County Federal Legislative Priorities includes Environmental Health and Water Quality Issues both of which were based on my recommendations. DuPage County urges the U.S. EPA to reconsider the delay in the implementation of the ban of TCE to protect the health and safety of our residents.

The 2018 DuPage County Federal Legislative Priorities passed unanimously out of committee on February 27, 2018.  The 2018 DuPage County Federal Legislative Priorities will come before the DuPage County Board on March 13, 2018 for the final and binding vote.

You can find the 2018 DuPage County Federal Legislative Priorities here.

You can find more on TCE here

You can learn more about the roll back on toxic chemicals here. 

Liz Chaplin

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