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Engel, Bailey, King Write to City For More Information on Environmental Testing Near P.S. 087 in the Bronx

Engel, Bailey, King Write to City For More Information on Environmental Testing Near P.S. 087 in the Bronx

Bronx, NY—Congressman Eliot Engel, State Senator Jamaal Bailey, and New York City Council Member Andy King wrote to New York City School’s Chancellor Richard Carranza asking for additional information regarding recent environmental testing that occurred near P.S. 087 on Bussing Ave in the Bronx.

The elected officials were alerted last week to test results from a recent environmental study showing elevated levels of  volatile organic compounds, metals, pesticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls in the soil adjacent to P.S. 87. The elected officials requested additional information on the testing, including whether or not any danger was posed to the children at the school; what the city was doing to inform parents of the situation; and what the city was doing to remediate the problem. Testing was done in connection with a proposed construction project.

“The health and safety of the students and staff at P.S. 87 is of the utmost importance,” the elected officials wrote. “Every step possible must be taken to keep the P.S. 87 community informed and to facilitate the necessary health precautions.”

Full text of the letter can be found below:

 

Dear Chancellor Carranza,

We write regarding recent environmental testing near P.S. 87 located at 1935 Bussing Ave, Bronx, NY 10466 that revealed several volatile organic compounds above guidance set by the New York State Department of Health Air Guideline Values and several metals, two pesticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls above the guidance levels set by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

We appreciate that the NYC Department of Education informed our offices of the results of the environmental testing near P.S. 87. The health and safety of the students and staff at P.S. 87 is of the utmost importance. Every step possible must be taken to keep the P.S. 87 community informed and to facilitate the necessary health precautions.

To that end, we ask the following questions:

•         The NYC DOE informed us that the soil at the site is covered by asphalt, concrete, topsoil or vegetative cover. What risks does exposure pose to P.S. 87 students? Is there a chance that children will be exposed to any harmful compounds? What steps are being taken to ensure no students or staff at P.S. 87 are exposed to any harmful compounds?

•         We understand that the environmental testing was conducted for a proposed addition near P.S. 87. Has the land P.S. 87 currently sits on been tested? Will any follow up testing be conducted? And if so, will test results be made public as soon as they are available?

•         We understand that these test results are available at the website, https://www.schools.nyc.gov/schools/X087. However, we are concerned that this information is buried in a thousand-page environmental site assessment report. Have any further steps been taken to inform students’ parents/guardians and P.S. 87 administrators and staff? Will information on the VOCs, metals, pesticides, and PCBs be made available to the public in a reasonably understandable format?

As elected officials, we are committed to working with you to ensure that New York City has the resources and support to keep all New Yorkers, especially our children, safe.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your prompt reply.