Lease Loophole Bill Passes Assembly

June 21, 2007

Albany, NY – The New York City School Construction Authority would be required to undertake environmental review and provide notice to a community when leasing a building for use as a public school.

The bill (A.8838) fixes a loophole in the law that allowed the SCA to lease buildings without such protection mechanisms in place. Schools were sometimes placed on toxic sites like the one shut down in Harlem due to high levels of perchloroethylene found in the building which was formerly used as a dry cleaning plant.

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Queens), championed the bill after listening to stories from constituents who believed community members should have input when decisions were made regarding the desirability of a potential lease site.

“I was pleased to sponsor a bill that protects children from potential exposure to toxic chemicals. It is only fair that the same health safeguards are in place for leased space as there are for schools that the SCA purchases,” said Nolan.

“I look forward to working with my colleague Senator Padavan on this issue”, said Nolan.

The bill passed the Assembly Wednesday.