Schoolyard blight: Lower Manhattan parents and families say ‘no’ to toxic clean-up

“Get your poison away from our kids,” cried parents of Peck Slip and Blue colleges in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon.

The cobblestone avenue between the Peck Slip elementary college and a car parking zone, the place a mercury clean-up is anticipated to be undertaken in January, felt the outrage of properly over 100 protesters on Nov. 16. From young children to seniors, members of the Seaport group arrived in power to disgrace Developer Howard Hughes for plans to construct a 345-foot condo advanced, and, in doing so, would see the elimination of dangerous toxins residents say might injure each the younger and previous who stay and are educated within the space.

Some parents say they’re scared for his or her kids. Picture by Dean Moses

“The mothers here are beside themselves. The best thing to do would be to leave it alone. You have two schools, you don’t have one. You have here and the Blue School down the street in an even narrower space,” Elaine Kennedy, a grandmother of a scholar on the Peck Slip Faculty, instructed amNewYork Metro.

On the opposite aspect, the Howard Hughes Company believes that they’re taking all needed security precautions so as to preserve the group risk-free.

Some parents introduced indicators exhibiting how they really feel in regards to the Hughes company. Picture by Dean Moses

“We are committed to the safe and thorough cleanup of the 250 Water St. site, which will occur under the oversight of the New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health, just as hundreds of similar projects have been safely remediated across the state,” a spokesperson stated in a press release.

Nonetheless, to a group that has lived by way of the brunt of the 9/11 terrorist assaults, many on the protest reminded that they’ve witnessed the devastation chemical compounds can have as soon as airborne.

“We had 9/11 and we had all the government agencies telling us it’s safe. Now there are 60 different types of cancers, and we’re 60% more prone to them plus COVID, asthma, and now all these others, so we have already been here,” Kennedy stated.

Children line up to exhibit their indicators. Picture by Dean Moses

Parents are additionally charging the Division of Training with holding their kids hostage, stopping any transfers from happening due to the proposed remediation.

“We are being told that they are stuck here. No excuses. Some with a child with a respiratory problem, a child with sensory perception issues, children with learning disabilities that could be easily distracted, they can’t be pulled,” stated Stacy Shub, a involved mother or father. 

Marching across the lot the place the work is anticipated to happen, some protesters demanded larger transparency and security protocols comparable to a tent to be positioned over the world to forestall toxins from escaping whereas others demanded the work be postponed outright.

College students, native residents, and their families marched across the car parking zone. Picture by Dean Moses

The Howard Hughes Company assured that the work has the DEC and DOH approval and there are a number of protections in place.

“Throughout that process, we will work closely with the Peck Slip and Blue schools to minimize any impact to operations and ensure a safe learning environment,” in accordance to a press release from the company. “More broadly, we are hopeful that our neighbors will embrace the opportunity to welcome 80 families earning around $45,000 to an area where the median household income is more than $150,000, all made possible through a safe and thorough cleanup and temporary construction period. We are pleased that State DEC and DOH have approved our proposed Remedial Action Work Plan, noting that ‘the remedy is protective of public health and the environment,’ and we look forward to implementing that plan under State oversight and in close coordination with the community’s environmental consultant.”

Youngsters joined their household by holding indicators. Picture by Dean Moses


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