In a statement, the Department of Education said new fixtures will be ordered soon but cautioned that it could take up to two months before work begins to replace the light fixtures.
Crews are scrambling to replace old light fixtures in one Staten Island school after toxic chemicals leaked onto a fifth grader on the first day of class.
City officials announced a 10-year plan in February to replace the aging fluorescent lights, but community groups think the plan is way too slow.
The federal lawsuit was filed by New York Lawyers for the Public Interest on behalf of a parents’ group. Department of Education spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz said the 10-year plan is responsible and will cause minimum disruption.
The city will begin seeking bids for a 10-year, $708 million city-wide clean up. It’s a move that for concerned parents and local elected officials couldn’t come soon enough.
The agency took 14 samples from light fixtures at P.S. 206, P.S. 37 and P.S. 112 and found that 12 were above the regulatory limit. The three schools are located at 508 E. 120th St.
The EPA said the chemicals were leaking from old fluorescent light fixtures.
The city said replacing the fixtures at approximately 800 schools would cost $1 billion.
Toxic troubles have hit a school on Staten Island after elevated PCB levels were detected at P.S. 36 in Annadale. Despite attemptes by parents to keep it off limits, the school is open for business today.
General Electric Co. says it will go ahead with the second phase of PCB dredging in the Hudson River under terms laid out last week by federal environmental regulators.
General Electric must remove more PCB-tainted sediment from the Hudson River and will have to take better samples of the river bottom when it resumes dredging in the spring, the EPA said.
There is a growing movement to test hundreds of New York City schools for toxic chemicals. The push comes after three schools showed alarmingly high levels of PCB.
NYC parents are concerned about an Environmental Protection Agency study that found elevated levels of PCB in three area schools: P.S. 199 in Manhattan, P.S. 309 in Brooklyn, and P.S. 178 in the Bronx.