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THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK OFFICE OF COUNCIL MEMBER STEPHEN LEVIN

Dsf 410 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, NY 11217 718 875 5200 250 Broadway, 1735 New York, NY 10007 212 788 7348 http://council.nyc.gov

Contact: Ben Petok, (518) 573-0745


**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

December 19, 2011 COUNCILMEMBER LEVIN DEMANDS TRANSPARENCY TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND SCHOOL WORKERS Council Member Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn) along with co-sponsor Council Member Vincent Ignizio (R-Staten Island) passed legislation today that will protect the health of New York City Public School students, teachers and school workers. The bill requires the Department of Education to regularly report on the progress made toward cleaning PCBs from the more than 750 affected schools. Council Member Levin is particularly troubled by the more than 240 schools in Brooklyn where students and teachers have been exposed to dangerous PCBs. I have been extremely disappointed in the Mayor and the Department of Educations response to the revelation of widespread PCB contamination in our schools. New York City has a responsibility to be transparent on matters of personal safety and this bill represents our fight to protect our most important citizens, said Levin. Teachers and school children are second to none when it comes to the future of New York. The administration can try to ignore them, but by passing these pieces of legislation today, the Council is ensuring that this vital information gets to the parents who need it. The legislation will require DOE to report regularly to the City Council on progress made toward PCB removal in city schools. The reports must include information on light fixtures and caulk that contain detected PCBs and whether they have been removed. Additionally, the reporting requirement will compel DOE to update frequently asked questions on their website and break down the reported information by community school district, council district and borough. "After NYCC members told me about the risk of PCBs in my daughters school, I joined NYCC to fight to get the DOE to replace the lights and test for the toxic chemical," said Michelle Chapman, New York Communities for Change Parent Leader. "But now, because of the City Council, all parents will be informed if lights contaminated with PCBs are in their schools and we can work together to get the DOE to remove them NOW. Maybe the DOE will finally do what is right and fair when it comes to the children!"

There are more than 240 contaminated schools in Brooklyn and over 750 city-wide. That adds up to tens of thousands of young people exposed to PCBs who may have serious medical complications down the road including learning deficits, endocrine disruption and cancer. Teachers may be experiencing the trauma of infertility because of PCB exposure and I remain very concerned about the untold and unknown medical challenges that lie ahead, said Levin. I am proud to work with NY Communities for Change, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, the United Federation of Teachers, and the SEIU 32BJ and I am grateful for their support on this bill. I also want to extend my gratitude to Speaker Quinn, Education Committee Chairman Robert Jackson, and a very special thanks to Council Member Vincent Ignizio for co-sponsoring this important legislation. # # #