July 18, 2017 By Jason Cohen
The sponsors of a bill that would require the MTA to monitor the lead paint levels along the elevated subway lines are urging Governor Cuomo to sign their legislation into law.
The legislation, sponsored by State Senator Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) in the Senate and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) in the Assembly, passed both chambers last month and is now in the hands of the governor to sign into law.
“This is about protecting New Yorkers and ensuring their safety,” Peralta said. “High levels of lead paint in chips falling onto the streets and sidewalk endanger the lives of neighbors, visitors, shoppers, and commuters. It is my hope the Governor signs this bill into law in order to solve these dangerous situations.”
If the legislation becomes law, the MTA would be required to study the lead levels along the subway lines. The study would have to be done in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health.
The MTA would then be required to recommend measures to eliminate it if the lead levels are high. The agency would also be required to present its findings to the governor, mayor and leaders of the state senate and assembly.
“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,” Peralta said. “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.”
A recent report by the District Council 9 International Union of Painters and Allied Trades revealed that paint chips falling from the 52nd Street 7 train station were found to contain lead amounts of 244,000 parts per million, which is equivalent to about 50 times in excess of the legal requirements for lead.