Electeds Urge DOE to Undertake Similar Additional Inspections at Other Potentially Contaminated Schools
BROOKLYN -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Borough President Marty Markowitz, and Councilmember Brad Lander welcomed the NYC Department of Education's decision to immediately remove lighting fixtures contaminated with PCBs at P.S. 146 Brooklyn New School and M.S. 448 Brooklyn Secondary School for Collaborative Studies, after parents and the elected officials urged city action.
Removal of the leaking fixtures will take place early this week following months of advocacy by concerned parents and elected officials, including a rally last Monday, June 11th.
DOE is undertaking a ten-year plan to remove PCB-contaminated fixtures in schools around the city. According to the DOE, there are 149 school buildings (accounting for 245 city schools) at which PCB leaks have been discovered; two-thirds of those schools are in Brooklyn. There are 738 school buildings throughout the city that might be contaminated by PCBs.
DOE initially reported that the P.S. 146 / M.S. 448 building was potentially contaminated but the fixtures would not be removed in the short term. After hearing from parents and elected officials, DOE conducted a secondary inspection and discovered leaks. The elected officials are also urging DOE to conduct similar additional inspections at other potentially contaminated schools throughout the city.
"Thank you to DOE for listening to parents' concerns and expediting work to deal with PCBs at P.S. 146 and M.S. 448. This is good news for our students, our teachers, and our entire community," said Senator Daniel Squadron. "But too many students and teachers throughout the city are in potentially contaminated buildings for very long periods of time -- and ten years is simply too long to wait when there is a risk. I hope DOE will quickly undertake similar additional inspections, like it did here, to ensure the health and safety of students and teachers around the city."
“This is an important step forward for our entire community, but most of all for the Brooklyn children who attend these schools. We must keep pressure on the Department of Education to ensure it removes toxins not only at these two locations, but also addresses the problem in public schools throughout the City,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez.
"The Department of Education has finally listened and has agreed to fast-track the replacement of PCB's light bulbs at P.S. 146 and M.S. 448. When parents, community leaders and elected officials join forces to address students' and teachers' health concerns our combined voices were heard, but I must ask the following question - what about the remaining 736 schools?" said Assemblywoman Joan Millman.
“While I am thrilled that the Department of Education responded to our calls to repair leaking light fixtures at P.S. 146 Brooklyn New School and M.S. 448 Brooklyn Secondary School for Collaborative Studies, I strongly urge the DOE to review as quickly as possible the remaining 426 schools in Brooklyn with old florescent light fixtures that could pose a health hazard to our students. The DOE has a list of 160 Brooklyn schools to be fast tracked, and addressing this issue must be a top priority to protect our children from potentially toxic substances right in their own hallways and classrooms,” said Borough President Marty Markowitz.
“I am pleased that the DOE has finally made the right decision for kids at the Brooklyn New School and the Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies. Parents should be proud of their unceasing advocacy on behalf of their children; I know they will be sleeping better once these lights are replaced. I was glad to join my fellow elected officials in support,” said Councilmember Brad Lander.