Broad Call for Faster Action on NYC School PCBs

"A coalition of elected officials and unions called on Thursday for faster action from the city and federal government to monitor and, if necessary, remove hazardous chemicals known as PCBs from as many as 700 city schools, calling the problem a 'serious health threat.'

A pilot study by the city this summer found elevated levels of the chemicals in all of the three schools tested: P.S. 199 in Manhattan, P.S. 309 in Brooklyn and P.S. 178 in the Bronx. Even after removing fraying caulking and old fluorescent lighting fixtures that contained the material, the PCB levels remained elevated at P.S. 199 and P.S. 309 beyond the recommended guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency.

All 13 members of New York City’s Congressional delegation sent a letter on Thursday to Judith Enck, the regional administrator of the E.P.A., asking the agency to take over primary responsibility for the problem from the city Department of Education, which plans no further action until next summer, when it will test two more schools in an ongoing pilot program."

Sharon Otterman reports for the New York Times October 7, 2010.

Source: NYTimes, 10/08/2010