Council Wraps Up Year With PCB Removal, CO Detector Bills
The City Council on Monday approved several measures designed to improve awareness and safety from dangerous and seemingly invisible chemicals. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
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The City Council started its meeting Monday with a tribute to Police Officer Peter Figosky, who was gunned down last week while responding to a Brooklyn robbery.
"He earned 12 department commendations and his inspector said that, 'Peter loved being a cop and loved being a patrol cop," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Elected leaders then turned to safety issues in schools with polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs.
"A lot of parents don't even know what PCBs are, let alone how they remediate, let alone what the risks are," said City Councilman Vincent Ignizio.
The toxic chemical was widely used in many construction and electrical materials before 1978 and may be present in overhead lighting. Last year, three schools were initially found to have elevated levels.
Further tests found more than 750 schools with lighting fixtures that may contain PCBs and need to be replaced.
Some parents who spoke with NY1 believe the worst.
"She was fine all summer long as soon as she gets in her new school the headaches start again," said one city parent.
The Department of Education has said there is no scientific evidence that the level of PCBs in school buildings is a risk to those inside.
Still, one bill requires the DOE to notify parents and employees whether PCBs have been found in their schools and about the plan to remove them.
The other measure requires the DOE to report to the Council yearly on its progress removing PCBs from lighting fixtures addressing issues related to PCBs in window caulk.
Also approved Monday was a bill that requires landlords to replace carbon monoxide detectors when they expire with ones that make a beep when they no longer work.
The mayor's office says he will sign all three bills.