On March 8, I joined State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, State Senator Jose M. Serrano, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, other local elected officials, and PS 87 Parent-Teacher Association co-president Ann Binstock at a press conference to express our outrage at the New York City Department of Education’s (DOE) woefully inadequate handling of a PCB leak discovered in a PS 87 light fixture last December 7 and not revealed to parents and the school’s administrators until March 4. It's distressing that nearly five years after dangerous levels of PCB contamination were first discovered in a half-dozen New York City public schools, the DOE continues to shirk transparency and accountability. I spoke forcefully on behalf of the PS 87 community and urged immediate passage of Assemblymember Rosenthal’s legislation (A988A/S3774) that, among other provisions, requires DOE to replace within two years lighting ballasts and lighting fixtures in school buildings constructed during the period when PCBs were widely used.
Senator Serrano and I also sent a joint letter to the DOE and the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) echoing the call by PS 87’s Parents Association for the agencies to initiate a comprehensive regimen of air quality tests for PCB contamination at the school and, if the levels exceed federal guidelines, to begin remediation as expeditiously as possible. Please see our letter below.