Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Oct. 23, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Adams on Lead Found in NYCHA developments 

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams released a statement on the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) failure to comply with its obligations to inspect for dangerous lead paint from NYCHA units. 

“We are past the point of scandal in the massive lead paint exposure in NYCHA apartments, where the extent of the potential contamination to children under the age of six has tripled beyond its original contention. The lack of care in this most fundamental of responsibilities — ensuring the health and safety of our most vulnerable tenants — demands legal accountability. 

“Families deserve justice for the systemic crisis of mismanagement in the bureaucracy of our public housing. I will never stop fighting for that justice, and I am grateful for the work of the NYCHA Federal Monitor in exposing the truth and laying out a path to real progress, which must include additional resources from our partners in Albany and Washington. 

“The only way we will get a real turnaround at NYCHA is real-time, data-driven accountability and transparency of its asset management. That’s what I have laid out in my plan for NYCHAStat that City Hall committed to at our behest two years ago but has yet to implement.” 

Schumer & Gillibrand Call for Nuclear Regulatory Commission Before Transfer

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), along with other federal lawmakers sent a letter to the Chairman and members of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) renewing their call for the Commission to hold a public hearing and address state and community concerns before NRC staff provisionally approved the transfer of the NRC license from Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy) to Holtec Decommissioning International (Holtec).  

“During the recent virtual government-to-government and public meetings conducted by NRC staff on September 22, 2020, which were attended by representatives of our offices, it was made clear that the NRC staff intends to issue its order of approval for the application to transfer Indian Point’s licenses from Entergy Corporation (Entergy) to subsidiaries of Holtec International (Holtec) as soon as next month. At the same meetings the NRC also informed the audience that its decision on the license transfer and exemption requests may be issued prior to these hearing requests being resolved,” wrote the lawmakers. 

“This is deeply disturbing when coupled with the fact that, over the last 8 months, the NRC has failed to act on New York’s and the Town of Cortlandt, Village of Buchanan, and the Hendrick Hudson School District’s petitions to intervene. We now face the prospect that the decision by NRC staff to transfer the plant’s license and grant regulatory exemptions may well be made before the various stakeholders representing the communities surrounding Indian Point have had an opportunity to fully present its contentions to the Commission in a hearing. Such an outcome would be wholly unacceptable to our constituents in the Lower Hudson Valley. Industry-driven timelines cannot, and should not, come before their health and safety and relevant economic concerns are duly considered.”

The NRC staff is expected to approve the application despite petitions from New York State and local stakeholders and repeated calls from lawmakers to hold a hearing before taking action. In the letter to Chairman Svinicki and members of the NRC, the lawmakers expressed concerns that a failure to fully and fairly consider the concerns raised by the state and others prior to transferring the plant’s licenses deprives the residents and taxpayers of New York from participating in the license transfer proceeding, which could have significant environmental, health, and economic implications for the state and its local communities in the Lower Hudson Valley for years to come. 

BP Adams Lays Proposals to Improve Park Equity 

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams released his testimony to the City Council’s Committee on Parks and Recreation for its hearing on “Improving the Equity of Greenspace Throughout the City in Light of the COVID-19 Epidemic.”  

“Parks are the lungs of our city. We have seen how vital they are as a respite for New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic, as parks attendance has soared, and people have discovered all that these public spaces have to offer. But just as COVID-19 underscored the deep disparities that exist in our health care system, it has also exposed unequal access to the city’s greenspaces, which promote physical and mental wellness. My testimony today provides a path to ensure all New Yorkers, and especially those in underserved Black and Brown communities, can enjoy and take full advantage of these natural treasures,” said Adams.  

In his testimony, Adams laid out concrete proposals that would improve access and equity to greenspace for Brooklynites and New Yorkers. He also noted the important physical and mental health benefits associated with parks and greenspaces, which are especially critical amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant mental health impacts.

Many of the same neighborhoods that bore the brunt of the pandemic — predominantly Black and Brown communities — also lack easy access to greenspace, exacerbating many of the health inequities that gave rise to the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 in the first place. 

Lander Focuses on Climate Crises 

City Council Member Brad Lander

Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Kensington)  released a proposal to turn the office of the New York City Comptroller into a hub for confronting the risks that climate change poses to NYC’s economy, health, and infrastructure. 

The proposals were announced ahead of the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, a deadly hurricane-strength storm that devastated NYC in 2012,  killing 44 New Yorkers, inflicting an estimated $19 billion in damages, flooding low-lying neighborhoods from Red Hook to the Rockaways, and leaving tens of thousands trapped without power, drinking water and food. 

“The job of the Comptroller is to take the long-term view on our city, evaluate the risks we face, and prepare us for future crises. In the devastation from Superstorm Sandy and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen clearly how deadly it can be when we aren’t prepared for a crisis, and how existing racial and economic disparities in health, housing, and the economy are magnified by emergencies. The climate crisis poses the most catastrophic long-term risks to New York City, and tackling it must be the office’s top priority as we work to rebuild and recover from the pandemic,” said Lander.

Lander is running for the open comptroller seat in next year’s citywide elections.