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Focus on Fairfax Newsletter of Delegate David Bulova
February 2008

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This Saturday morning, please stop by my 2008 Town Hall meeting. The meeting is scheduled from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at Fairfax City Hall on Armstrong Street. Senator Petersen and I will provide an overview of our initiatives, the proposed budget, and other major legislative issues. Most importantly, we want to hear your thoughts and bring your feedback back with us to Richmond.

This was a mixed week for my bills. On the plus side, my House Bill 392 passed Second Reading on the House Floor this Friday. This bill fixes an oversight made by the General Assembly in 2004 when it enacted major changes to the Stormwater Management Law. To make a long story short, while the General Assembly increased water quality protection requirements, it also accidentally took away the ability of local governments to enforce their stormwater management ordinances. This includes Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax. Big oops! Fortunately, HB392 fixes that problem.

While all of my bills are special (one delegate opined that while we are in Richmond, our bills are like our children), I do have some favorites (unlike with my real children). One of my favorites this year is House Joint Resolution 171, which would require a study of the environmental and human health impacts of endocrine disrupting compounds (ECCs) in our water.

Now, when I tell constituents that I am carrying a bill to study EDCs, typically their eyes glaze over. However, mention that EDCs have been linked as a primary cause of intersex fish found in the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers – that peaks their interest. In case you don’t know, an intersex fish is basically a male fish that has developed immature female egg cells.

For those of you not familiar with EDCs, they are a class of chemicals that short-circuit the body’s normal hormonal functions. Sometimes this is done on purpose. EDCs are found in a lot of personal care products and pharmaceuticals. Other EDCs are found in pesticides, fumigants, placticides, and other products. While there is a growing body of evidence linking EDCs with intersex fish, the impact of EDCs in the water on people is not well known. However, some EDCs are known to cause very significant health problems. For instance, thalomide, an EDC administered in the 1950s and 1960s for morning sickness, resulted in significant birth defects. Right now, most wastewater treatment facilities do not remove EDCs, which means that they are discharged directly to our water.

The good news is that there is lots of research being conducted at the federal and international levels. The findings of this research will have significant impacts on wastewater treatment processes, drinking water treatment, and even the manufacture and sale of pharmaceuticals.

The bad news is that Virginia has no organized effort to track what is happening on the federal level or to prepare ourselves to deal with the fiscal, regulatory, and policy implications. HJR 171 would direct the Department of Environmental Quality to take the lead on this issue and to report back on how Virginia should best prepare for potential changes.

Regrettably, the House limits itself to about 15 study resolutions each year. As a result, I was competing with no less than 80 other studies. Alas, HJR 171 didn’t make it out of subcommittee.

This weekend, I am off to one of my favorite nights of the entire year – the Girl Scout Daddy-Daughter Dance with my daughter Josette. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend as well (perhaps gorging on chocolate at the City of Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival). And, of course, I look forward to seeing many of you at the Town Hall meeting!


David Bulova

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Delegate David Bulova

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Fairfax, VA 22031
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