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Harmful chemicals to be remove from public schools soon

MARYAM ABDUL-ALEEM Special to the AmNews | 5/31/2013, 12:45 p.m.
Activists rejoice as city shortens PCB timeline

New York Communities for Change, 32 BJ, United Federation of Teachers and the New York Lawyers for Public Interest won a victory to get light fixtures contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) removed from New York City schools. The victory was announced on May 22 on the steps of the Tweed Courthouse, where the Department of Education is located. The fight to get the toxins removed stems from a long legal battle to remove the PCBs at an earlier date than the Department of Education had scheduled. The light fixtures were scheduled to be removed in 2021, but now the toxins will be removed in 2016.

President of 32BJ EIU Hector Figueroa said, "We are glad the voices of parents, community members and school workers have finally been heard and that they won't have to wait a decade for PCBs to be removed from schools. Protecting our children and investing in a safe and comfortable learning environment should be the city's number one priority."

A coalition of activists community groups and local politicians fought for nearly two years to get the date pushed up.