What You Should Know By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz - Alerting the Public
You should know that our community is being afflicted by some serious public health threats.
It has come to my attention from the media that people in Bronx County are dying and becoming very sick because of a deadly bacterial infection that is being spread by rats.
It has also come to my attention that the water our children are drinking in some of our public schools may be contaminated with toxic levels of lead.
Enclosed is an open letter that I have sent to the Commissioner Basil Seggos of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Also enclosed is a letter to parents that was sent by the New York City Department of Education regarding one of the effected schools.
Ladies and gentlemen, these kinds of public health threats are always happening in minority communities. Our people are suffering and dying. Why are we the last to know?
I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.
OPEN LETTER TO NYS DEC COMMISSIONER BASIL SEGGOS
February 15, 2017
Commissioner Basil Seggos
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 14th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-1010
Dear Commissioner Seggos:
This is a most urgent request for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to
review and intervene in the situation involving toxic levels of lead in the water supply of certain New
York City Department of Education schools.
My office continues to receive complaints from frightened parents because there are school buildings in
the New York City Department of Education that have been found to have dangerously elevated levels of
lead in their schools water system. A copy of one such letter is included.
Instances of elevated lead levels in school water supply is being made known on an ad hoc basis
which gives no assurance to parents of school aged children.
As has been the case in Flint Michigan, until sources of elevated lead in water supplies has been round
and eliminated, alternatives such as bottled water, water coolers and filters are needed as a immediate
New York State must focus on water testing, lead testing for children, and long-term solutions, including
follow-up care for affected residents.
It is essential for your agency to investigate the method that leads to detectable presence and discovery of
elevated lead in school water supply, is it leaching for unused, older pipes? If there a common mechanism
for how it is being released into the water supply, how can parents and school officials prepare for this?
While we can all hope that New York City Department of Education will cooperate with your agency’s
intervention, the time has passed for letting New York City Department of Education take care of this
problem entirely on its own.
Please help now!
Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz.
This letter to parents of Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS Manhattan has at the top left corner
Department of Education
Carmine Farina Chancellor
Feb. 8, 2017
Dear Families and Staff:
This is a follow up to my Decenter 19 letter outlining the additional measures the New York City Department of Education DOE is taking to ensure that the water in New York City schools is safe for students and staff.
On January 28, 2017. every potential sour of water for drinking or preparing food Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS 110 Amsterdam Avenue Manhattan, NY 10023) was tested for lead. The results showed elevated levels in 20 of the 267 samples of water taken from faucets in the building.
A more detailed letter related to the testing foe lead at Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS Manhattan is attached and the complete test results are posted on the DOE website.
In any building where the test results show even one water outlet above the action level of 15 parts per billion, the DOE will implement its standard response protocol, which includes removing any drinking or cooking fixture outlet from service, flushing all or part of the system to eliminate water sitting in the pipes overnight, replacing equipment and re-testing after the equipment is replaced
Each affected drinking or cooking water fixture at Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS Manhattan will remain out of service until it remediated and future testing shows that the water does not have an elevated level of lead. The custodial staff will also continue to flush the Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS Manhattan water systems on Monday mornings before school starts in order to eliminate water that has been stagnant in the pipes over the weekend and to ensure safe drinking water is available for students and staff.
Please visit http//schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/schools/watersafety.htm to learn more about the robust protocol we use to ensure the safety of drinking water in each an every school, as well as to look up the water test results for their child's school.
We will keep you updated on the remediation work at Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS Manhattan, and thank you for your support.
It is nice to see that Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr. is concerned about Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS Manhattan, but what is he doing for parents whose children are attending schools in his district that are older than Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS Manhattan,the good senator himself, and whose pipes are the same age as the school they are in?