PCB Leak at P.S. 87 Causes Community Outrage
P.S. 87 parents are demanding answers after a PCB leak was discovered in the school in December, and the DOE had failed to notify parents. PCBS, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are chemicals that were banned in the U.S. because of their negative environmental impact and effects on human health. By law, the DOE has to inform parents of a PCB leak in schools within a week of finding it, but the DOE responded almost three months later.
"Time and time again, the DOE has failed students and parents when it comes to PCBs," said Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, who has worked to improve transparency within the DOE about PCB in schools, in a statement. "To date, the DOE's response has been nothing less than feckless dithering, unnecessarily confusing for school administrators and parents and willfully blind to the real dangers posed by PCBs."
PCBs may be present in more than 700 schools citywide, and right now a bill is in the New York State Senate which would require the city to remove and replace all PCB lighting ballasts in schools citywide. P.S. 87, however, wants improvements now.
"We insist that our classrooms are remediated this summer and that the DOE allow immediate air quality testing so that we can make sure our school is safe," said P.S. 87 Parents Association co-presidents Claire Abenante, Ann Binstock and Katie Miller in a statement.
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