Crowley, Serrano Commend New Agreement on NYC School PCB Clean Up

January 19, 2010
Press Release

Washington, D.C. —Today, Representatives Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) and José E. Serrano (D-Bronx) acknowledged as an important first step the agreement on PCB contamination in schools between the Environmental Protection Agency and NYC Department of Education.  The agreement requires New York City to proceed with a pilot study testing PCB contamination in five schools and produce a plan for remediation that can be applied citywide.

Last year, Crowley and Serrano inserted language into a FY2010 appropriations bill that instructed the EPA to study and issue recommendations for cleaning up PCB contamination in schools.  A number of schools in New York City including several in the Bronx were recently found to have PCB laden window caulk.  Polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs – an industrial chemical now no longer in use – have been found to have very harmful health effects, especially among children.

“With this step forward, the EPA and the City of New York are taking action to eliminate dangerous PCBs from classrooms across New York City, including several schools in the Bronx,” said Congressman Crowley. “Coordinated efforts like this are needed to comprehensively clean up PCB contamination in New York and across the nation.  José Serrano and I will continue our work to raise awareness of the dangers of PCBs and to ensure that further remediation efforts move swiftly forward.”

“Today’s announcement shows that the light Joe Crowley and I shed on this problem has moved the federal government to take action,” said Congressman Serrano. “We asked the EPA to take steps to study and help develop a solution to this pressing issue. They have taken the first step today, and we look forward to quick progress towards a solution that ensures our children’s safety from PCBs.”