In a series of articles in the NY Metro, investigative reporter Patrick Arden has explored Mayor Bloomberg's controversial plans to reclaim toxic sites to build schools. As Arden explains, the plans will not result in a complete clean-up. Instead, complex engineering systems will be required to continuously vent toxic fumes out of contaminated soils and away from children and teachers. One problem is that the Mayor's administration refuses to provide any plan for long term monitoring of these systems. In today's article, Arden quotes two Pace University scientists:
The local community board has opposed the construction plans.
Schlesinger and Cervino noted the ventilation system would have a monitor to ensure it was working. They asked if another monitor could be installed to detect levels of specific chemicals being released from the site.“Even if the controls are working, we still want a monitor in that school,” Cervino said. “We asked, ‘If it’s not about the money, why wouldn’t you do it?’ They said, ‘Because we’re doing everything within the law.’
In the Bronx, parents and community leaders exasperated with the Administration's refusal to provide a monitoring plan for the Mott Haven schools site have filed a lawsuit. See Metro coverage here and Post here. Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott blasted these concerned parents, calling their actions "unconscionable". Oddly enough, we didn't hear a peep from Walcott when the Daily News reported how School Construction Authority bigwigs had diverted school repair funds into a well-appointed lounge for themselves.