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This Saturday, April 6, the Stony Brook chapter of the New York Public Interest

Research Group (NYPIRG) will be taking students and other members of the community

on a ‘Toxic Tour’ of Suffolk County.

The terrorist attacks of the past year seem to have overshadowed issues such

as the environment, and rightly so. But now is a good time to start looking

at our own nation and how we are taking care of our own conditions.

Cancer is at an all-time high on Long Island, and many studies have pointed

to the way we handle the elimination of our waste. Long Island gets its water

supply solely from the ground, and doesn’#146;t use any outside sources. Many

have accused these toxic waste sites of letting hazardous materials seep through

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the ground and into our water supply. It’#146;s time to find out exactly how

this toxic waste can be safely cleaned up. Tougher laws need to be in place

to make sure the environment we live in is healthy and safe.

There is state legislation on the table which supports a clean-up program,

but there are several different proposals, some which hurt tax payers.

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One plan, supported by New York state Governor George Pataki, asks the tax

payers to pay for the clean-up, which would take 20 years, according to this

plan. Another approach requests corporations to pay for the clean-up, which

would get done in 10 years.

By gathering and letting the governor know how we feel about not only the toxic

waste sites themselves, but the handling of their clean-up as well, we empower

ourselves. We shouldn’#146;t have to pay for the mistakes of the government,

and we should express how we feel, especially this election year.

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