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  • Leonie Haimson
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 19, 2013

    From: Press Office, New York City Comptroller John C. Liu <press@...>;
    Sent: Tue, Mar 19, 2013 2:50:31 PM



    PR13-03-043                                                                                                           March 19, 2013

    Contact: E.J. Kessler, (212) 669-3747                                                                             Page(s): 2



     Innovative Plan to Rid Schools of Deadly PCBs Gaining Steam


    NEW YORK, N.Y. – City Comptroller John C. Liu today noted the growing support for his plan to issue “Green Apple Bonds” as a means to remove harmful PCBs from City schools, six years ahead of City Hall’s schedule for doing so and at a savings of $339 million. The City Council Education Committee today is holding a hearing on the Department of Education’s capital plan, and parents, community leaders, and advocates will be testifying to call for more funding to speed up the removal, which affects more than 772 buildings.


    “Recent news reports have exposed the fact that even more schools than we originally thought have light fixtures containing PCBs,” Comptroller Liu said. “It’s no wonder that New Yorkers from many different fields are coming forward to support our effort to rid the schools of these deadly toxins. City Hall needs to get off the dime and speed up the removal of PCBs from our schools by endorsing the issuance of Green Apple Bonds now.”


    Recent statements of support for Green Apple Bonds include:


    George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East:

    “As the largest union of health-care workers in New York and the nation, we strongly support the Green Apple Bonds initiative, which will help protect the health of our City’s kids at almost 800 schools. We simply cannot have our children exposed to toxic PCB’s that have been linked to cancer and learning disabilities.


    “Moreover, many of our members treated victims of Hurricane Sandy and were victims themselves, losing power and even their homes. This initiative will greatly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and any effort to slow climate change is worthwhile. Green Apple Bonds will also create 3,000 jobs and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Moving forward, we’re excited by the possibilities that Green Apple Bonds present for our City’s health-care infrastructure, and making sure hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics are environmentally safe for patients, as well as more cost efficient.”


    Michelle Ciulla Lipkin and Jane Reiff, CPAC Co-Chairs:

    “The Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council is a body of parent leaders from all over the City who advocate for all NYC public school children and their families. Deeply concerned about PCBs in our schools, CPAC has been advocating for the speedy removal of PCB light fixtures for years. We are pleased to see there is finally a sensible plan to address this problem in a timely manner. We support and appreciate the efforts of the Comptroller’s office in developing the Green Apple Bonds program.”


    Dr. Mark Chandler, Research Scientist, Columbia University and NASA-GISS:

    “As someone who has been studying the impact of climate change for over two decades, I strongly support creative solutions like Green Apple Bonds that will help finance energy retrofits and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. A large part of New York City’s carbon footprint owes to its old, energy inefficient buildings, including schools. Green Apple Bonds will help change this in an expedited fashion.”


    Bob Lederer, Director of Research, Policy, and Advocacy for The Bronx Health Link:

    “The scientific evidence is overwhelming that PCBs in school light fixtures pose a serious threat to the health of students, teachers, and staff. Many Bronx schools are affected, and Bronx parents have led the citywide effort to rid schools of pollutants. The Mayor’s 10-year timetable for remediation will keep these children and adults at risk for far too long. We support Green Apple Bonds as a practical solution to get the job done expeditiously and protect the health of those who would otherwise remain exposed.”


    Lois Marie Gibbs Ph.D., Executive Director Center for Health, Environment & Justice:

    “The Center for Health, Environment & Justice fully supports PCB Lights Out campaign to accelerate the removal of PCB contaminated lights in NYC school. And we fully support the Green Apple Bonds program, which would rid all New York City public schools of PCB-contaminated light fixtures by 2015 — six years ahead of Mayor Bloomberg's current 10-year schedule — and at a savings of $38 million per year through 2021. 


    “PCBs are very dangerous chemicals, especially for children.  As a Love Canal survivor who experienced children with cancer, learning disabilities, and disease, there is absolutely no reason to place more children in harm’s way when it can be avoided.  Six years is almost equal to a child’s entire elementary school experience, when their bodies and brains are developing faster than at any other time in their lives.  If a parent was to place children in avoidable harm’s way, they would go to jail for child abuse. The Mayor has the responsibility to protect all children, and the Green Apple Bonds present a wonderful opportunity.”


    Judy Braiman, President Empire State Consumer Project:

    “We fully endorse the Green Apple Bonds program.  No child should be exposed to the PCB lights in schools.  Many school districts have already removed the PCB ballasts and sent them to hazardous-waste sites.”



    Press release on Green Apple Bonds: http://www.comptroller.nyc.gov/press/2012_releases/pr12-11-129.shtm


    Earlier supporter statements: http://www.comptroller.nyc.gov/press/2012_releases/pr12-12-133.shtm


    Visit www.comptroller.nyc.gov for the latest news, events, and initiatives.
    Follow Comptroller Liu on 
    Twitter. To receive Twitter updates via text message, text “follow johncliu” to 40404. View the latest Comptroller’s office videos on YouTube.


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