|From:||Lenny Siegel <email@example.com>|
|Date:||7 Jun 2007 20:07:16 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-BIF] New York City rules fo school leasing|
New York Lawyers for the Public InterestFor Immediate Release: June 7, 2007
STATEMENT FROM DAVE PALMER, STAFF ATTORNEY, NEW YORK LAWYERS FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST (NYLPI)Re: Facing Behind-The-Scenes Mayoral Opposition at State Level, NYC Council Education Committee Unanimously Passes Resolution in Support of State Legislation to Close Loophole in NYC School Siting Law
"The New York City Council's Education Committee unanimously passed Resolution 836 in support of state legislation that will amend the Public Authorities Law to clarify expressly that leased educational facilities should be subject to the same public notice, Council approval and environmental review as new school construction. The vote was 16-0, with one Member absent.
"The School Construction Authority (SCA) is charged with finding space for new schools in New York City. Sometimes they build new schools; sometimes they lease existing facilities; for example, an old factory. To build a new school, state law requires the SCA to submit a site plan to the local community board, gives the New York City Council an opportunity to review the site plan, and requires environmental review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act - all of which give communities notice and an opportunity to participate. The SCA argues that its leasing program is not subject to these same processes - even where there is known contamination.
"The Department of Education declined to testify, citing a policy of not commenting on resolutions. However, we have received word from Albany insiders that the Mayor's office has been lobbying behind the scenes against this important legislation. It's disgraceful that the City would seek to shut out the community and the Council on such important school siting decisions, especially where some of the leased sites they've chosen in the past have been on contaminated property - and the communities we represent have been effected. The City's opposition is the only thing holding back this legislation in the final two weeks of the legislative session - that's a real shame.
"We thank Assembly Member Catherine Nolan for sponsoring a bill in the Assembly (A.8838). Senator Frank Padavan has committed to introduce legislation in the Senate. We thank Council Member Robert Jackson for introducing this legislation and the entire Council Education Committee for passing the resolution today. We also thank Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Besty Gotbaum and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión for their public support."
More information and a list of organizations supporting the legislation can be found at:
http://www.nylpi.org/area_4_schools_leasingtoxicschools.html -- Lenny Siegel Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041 Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545 Fax: 650/961-8918 <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.cpeo.org _______________________________________________ Brownfields mailing list Brownfields@list.cpeo.org http://www.cpeo.org/mailman/listinfo/brownfields
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