Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Jersey neighbors press Corzine to address toxic schools

Our neighbors in New Jersey have formed a coalition to take action on the issue of schools and day care facilities that have been built on or near toxic sites. Here's the article. They are pressing Governor Corzine to take action on this issue. We too have an issue of toxic schools in NYC with PCBs potentially affecting hundreds of buildings. If you want to be part of a coalition of concerned citizens who is making their voices heard on this issue let me know.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

NYC DoE memo to custodial staff regarding PCBs

Not sure this is out there, but the DoE's Division of School Facilities Office of Building Services sent out a memo to custodial staff and building managers. Here is the full text. It asks them to conduct regular inspections and cleanings of surfaces that may have PCBs and of caulking to observe deterioration and disturbances. I hope this is being followed by the custodial staff across the city. Its a good initial step but we still need the custodial staff to have clear rules as to how to clean PCB contaminated areas.

Student made PCB public service announcement video

Here's a great short video PSA about PCBs made entirely by students.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Text of NYC Council PCB Resolution

I mentioned this was being introduced in a previous post. Here is the text of the bill as well as a status report. It is currently with the Committee on Environmental Protection. I urge you to contact your city council member to ensure broad support for this resolution.

PCB bill in NY State Assembly

This is interesting. I just stumbled on it. Glad to see our representatives in Albany are taking notice of this issue. Since Rosenthal is the only name on the bill, I am guessing it is Linda B. Rosenthal who is the assembly person for the upper west side of Manhattan where PS 199 is located. That school community has been very active in making their voices heard on this issue as I have written about before. The bill is currently in the Committee on Education so I recommend you urge your representatives in Albany to support this bill.

NY Daily News: Reps. Crowley and Serrano urge federal aid for PCB cleanup

"Reps. Joseph Crowley and Jose Serrano urge federal aid for PCB cleanup"

This is a good first step to begin to address the funding issue for schools across the country to clean up PCBs from their buildings. My guess though is that since this is lumped in with a broader school infrastructure improvement bill, PCB cleanup will not take a priority. We need to continue to call for federal legislation that specifically targets PCB removal from schools and other buildings and also for regulations that clearly state how to thoroughly clean PCB contaminated buildings on a regular basis until the PCBs can be safely removed.

NYTimes: Tons of PCBs May Come Calling at a Down-at-the-Heels Texas City

"Tons of PCBs May Come Calling at a Down-at-the-Heels Texas City -"

So while we in NYC are trying to get rid of PCBs from our schools, a company with operations in Texas is trying to bring more of this toxin into our country to turn a profit.