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New York, NY - Hundreds Of City Schools Use Dirty, Dangerous Heating Oil

Published on: March 13, 2011 01:12 PM
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New York, NY - All New Yorkers have seen black smoke pouring from buildings that pollutes the air and, according to the Bloomberg administration, is having a severe impact on the health of New Yorkers. The smoke is caused by the burning of dirty heating oil.

The health risks are so bad that the city’s commissioner of Environmental Protection, Cas Holloway, said in a statement back in January, “The facts are clear: dirty heating oil costs lives.”

The problem is that the city itself is burning the very oil it is warning New Yorkers about. In all, 427 schools burn the two worst type of oil. The dirtiest type of oil is used in 239 schools.

The city has proposed banning the worst of the two oils by 2015. The other type of dirty oil would be phased out by 2030.

“2030? Are you serious? Let’s get real. In fact, this is 2011, so you are talking about 19 years to phase out this dirty heating oil? Totally unacceptable,” said Manhattan Councilman Robert Jackson.

Schools using the worst oil can be found in all five boroughs, including P.S. 87 on the Upper West Side, P.S. 69 on Staten Island and P.S. 22 in Flushing, Queens. Parents say they are concerned.

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“I am going to have my child checked out, see if she’s okay. If she isn’t, well, the city will have to be responsible for it,” said one parent.

“The parents have a right to know about this. I had no idea about it. It’s a shame,” said another.

“Schools, you’d want them to be the cleanest, burning buildings and have the cleanest furnaces, since air quality is such a big issue in the city, especially with kids and the asthma,” said a third.

According to the city’s Health Department, the health risks from any single boiler that burns dirty heating oil is relatively small. They say it is the total emissions citywide that reduce air quality.

The city’s Department of Education says it is converting boilers at 159 schools within the next three years, so they will be able to burn cleaner fuels.

The city has not made it easy for New Yorkers to find which schools are burning the dirtiest types of heating oil. NY1 was only able to obtain the list through a Freedom of Information Act request



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 13, 2011 at 01:44 PM Upset Says:

Lawsuits cost the city more than using cleaner fuels. Bloomberg as usual is penny wise and dollar foolish or should we say fuel-ish.

2

 Mar 13, 2011 at 02:20 PM OyGevald Says:

Wow! Another big Union contract in the works. I smell a rat.

3

 Mar 13, 2011 at 02:57 PM Shmelly Says:

It is amazing that this is the same Bloomberg who wants us to leave our cars and use bikes in his bike lanes, who wants to make Manhattan closed to traffic and make it into one big pedestrian mall, and who wanted to force the cab drivers to use hybrid taxis. This is the same Bloomberg who said to use mass transit during the blizzard when 100s of buses were stuck in the snow and who said the streets were all plowed when they weren't. However, when it comes to having the city clean up the air we can wait 19 years. Mr. Bloomberg practice what you preach and clean up your own house we want clean air now not in 19 years.

4

 Mar 13, 2011 at 05:12 PM HeshyEmes Says:

Reply to #3  
Shmelly Says:

It is amazing that this is the same Bloomberg who wants us to leave our cars and use bikes in his bike lanes, who wants to make Manhattan closed to traffic and make it into one big pedestrian mall, and who wanted to force the cab drivers to use hybrid taxis. This is the same Bloomberg who said to use mass transit during the blizzard when 100s of buses were stuck in the snow and who said the streets were all plowed when they weren't. However, when it comes to having the city clean up the air we can wait 19 years. Mr. Bloomberg practice what you preach and clean up your own house we want clean air now not in 19 years.

Yes, great idea. Let's spend millions on new heating systems b/c of some pollution. The fluorescent lighting fiasco isn't over yet (changing all the fixtures because of mercury). And to the jerk who is worried about his kid & shopping lawyers; the air being polluted is outside, not in the school. Your kid is a dope because he has your genes, not because of the "pollution".

5

 Mar 13, 2011 at 09:13 PM Anonymous Says:

The public has no idea how dirty this oil really is. I worked for an oil company whose owners deserved to go to jail because of the oil they used for public schools and other public buildings. They didn't even use the dirty #2 oil cited in the article, that would have been an improvement.

6

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