Crowley-Serrano PCB Cleanup Initiative for Schools Approved by House

May 14, 2009
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressmen Joseph Crowley (D-Bronx,Queens) and José Serrano (D-Bronx) applauded passage of the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public Schools Facilities Act (H.R. 2187) that included a provision written by Crowley-Serrano to help school districts fund cleanup of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in New York City and throughout the country.  This initiative will provide schools with access to funding for critical modernization, renovation and repair projects.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that our children are taught in a healthy school environment,” said Congressman Crowley.  “Like asbestos and lead paint, the presence of PCBs in school classrooms is unacceptable.  That is why I teamed up with my good friend Joe Serrano to raise awareness in Congress of this dangerous contaminant and to include the cleanup of PCBs in broader legislation that will keep our schools safe for our children.  A problem this serious demands that the federal government provide some help to state and local governments, and I applaud the House for approving this important provision as part of the Green Schools Act.”
“PCB contamination in our schools is intolerable—and I am glad Congress is acting to do something about it,” said Congressman Serrano. “Since Joe Crowley and I heard about this problem, we’ve been working toward a solution, because the place where our children spend their days must be safe. No parent would tolerate a hazardous substance in a child’s bedroom, and similarly, no school or government should tolerate them either. Joe and I are committed to resolving this problem.”

The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public Schools Facilities Act (H.R. 2187) provides critical funding to states and school districts to help ensure that school facilities and learning environments are safe, healthy, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and technologically advanced; the Crowley-Serrano provision makes grants and low-interest loans available to local educational agencies for the removal, abatement, or interim controls of PCBs during the construction, modernization or repair of public schools.  The Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives today by a vote of 275-155, and now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Congressman Crowley is a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee; Congressman José Serrano chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.