Today, State Senator Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz urged Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign into law their legislation (S.5754-A/A.7562-A) requiring the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York Transit Authority to undertake a study to determine the amount of lead paint in the elevated subway stations, tracks and trestles throughout the City. The Senate and the Assembly passed the bill last month.
“This is about protecting New Yorkers and ensuring their safety. High levels of lead paint in chips falling onto the streets and sidewalk endanger the lives of neighbors, visitors, shoppers, and commuters,” said Senator Peralta. “It is imperative that we remove hazardous lead paint from above ground subway lines throughout the City. It is my hope the Governor sings this bill into law in order to solve these dangerous situations.”
Senator Peralta added, “By eliminating and evaluating this dangerous problem, the MTA can take a good first step in making sure our subway system is safe for everyone. In the heart of my district, the 7 Train runs above Roosevelt Avenue, a crowded area full of shops, restaurants and street vendors, so it is important we protect everyone from these falling paint chips containing high levels of lead. It is my hope that the MTA acts and remedies this situation and prevents anyone from getting sick from lead paint exposure, which can be poisonous.”
“I am pleased that both houses of the legislature passed this important public safety measure. This bill requires the MTA and the NYCTA determine and report which areas of the aboveground transit infrastructure are plagued with hazardous levels of lead paint and which parts of New York City’s aging transit system must be immediately remediated before the thousands of New Yorkers who rely upon city transit become sickened or poisoned. We cannot expect people to live and work while being forced to use subway platforms coated in flaking lead-paint chips that may increase their risk of lead poisoning,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. “It is almost inconceivable in this day and age that people must put up with any lead-poisoning related dangers, yet this legislation will go some way toward ending this problem. Now we are counting on the Governor to sign this bill into law to protect New Yorkers.”
According to published reports, District 9 International Union of Painters and Allied Trades found that in some samples of paint chips falling onto the streets from the elevated 7 subway line structure contained 224,000 parts per million of lead paint, more than 40 times the 5,000 parts per million legal threshold.
In light of this situation, Senator Peralta and Assemblyman Dinowitz called on the MTA to resolve the problem created by the falling lead paint chips onto the streets underneath elevated train stations, elevated tracks and trestles. Additionally, the study by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will establish the degree to which the state agency complies with federal and state laws and regulations, such as the Federal Clean Air Act.
The study will be conducted in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health. The proposal also calls for the MTA to submit a report containing recommendations to eliminate possible exposure to lead paint by these falling chips and to “review past renovations to stations to determine the amount of lead paint abatement.”
It makes no sense to us that the state legislature has to do this when the use of lead-based paint was banned in New York City in 1960, or was it?
Lead Paint Law
The City's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (Local Law 1 of 2004) requires landlords to identify and remediate lead-based paint hazards in the apartments of young children, using trained workers and safe work practices. Lead-based paint is presumed to exist in a multiple dwelling unit if:
- The building was built before 1960 (or between 1960 and 1978 if the owner knows that there is lead-based paint) and
- A child under the age of six lives in the apartment.
It seems that the state and federal government have made attempts to ban the sale and use of lead based paint, only to have these laws amended or not passed at all.
Why is the MTA still using lead based paint on the elevated subway lines?
All this really calls for is a study by the MTA, and not a ban on the MTA from using lead based paint period.
Where is the NYC Department of Environmental Protection?
Still removing Asbestos the DEP used in a building years after the use of Asbestos was banned?