Letters to the Editor

A Greater Need for Accuracy

d395d3e5bebd4bcfcdd3_24759.jpg
d395d3e5bebd4bcfcdd3_24759.jpg

In the summer of 2016, New York State passed a law requiring school districts to conduct testing of all potable water sources or outlets for lead contamination and to take responsive action. The legislation included all buildings owned or leased by a school. The action level for lead in school drinking water is 15 micrograms per liter (mcg/L) or parts per billion (ppb).

The Yorktown Central School District complied with the law and tested six buildings, inclusive of French Hill. Those buildings were Yorktown High School, Mildred E. Strang Middle School, and Crompond, Mohansic and Brookside elementary schools, and French Hill. Though French Hill is being rented out, thousands of children graduated there and young children still enter the building for childcare and other activities.

The results of the lead testing are on the school district’s website: yorktown.org. Also on the website are two letters from Dr. Napolitano dated Oct. 18, 2016, and Nov. 10, 2016, to explain the results of the lead testing.

Sign Up for E-News

In both letters, Dr. Napolitano wrote that no drinking fountains in the elementary schools and secondary schools were above the allowable limits (15 parts per billion).

I am sorry to report, but what Dr. Napolitano wrote was incorrect and also incomplete. There were five drinking fountains that exceeded the allowable limits for lead in water. According to the Technical Report posted on the district’s website, those five sites were one drinking fountain at Mildred E. Strang and four drinking fountains at French Hill.

To ensure that the school district was well aware of the excessive levels in the five drinking fountains, Joseph Sbarra, the school district’s environmental consultant, sent an email to the district listing the five locations that exceeded the 15 ppb “action level.”

I obtained Mr. Sbarra’s email under the Freedom of Information Act and posted it on United Taxpayers of Yorktown’s website: yorktownopengov.net. To read Mr. Sbarra’s email, just click on the link named Schools (on the left side). His communication will be the first document, just above the document named “PCB Contamination of Air Supply Ducts in Mohansic Elementary School in 2012.”

As a side note, the Yorktown Central School District found PCB-contaminated dust in air supply ducts at the Mohansic Elementary School back in 2012. Since the dust levels exceeded the health department’s action level, the district was required to remediate it. Did the school administration inform all of the parents, staff and teachers about the contamination? Under the Freedom of Information Act, I was unable to locate any record showing that the school district made this public knowledge. And it was only under the Freedom of Information Act that I even learned about the contamination. Why was the school board and administration so secretive and not forthcoming?

As far as the issue of lead in water, under New York State Regulation Subpart 67-4, posting on the school website or through social media does not count as written notification. Physical written notification must be distributed to all staff and persons in parental relation to the child, not just those that the school believes were exposed to a particular outlet.

Based on this information, I anticipate that the school district will post on its website and mail written documentation to all staff and parents an update about the accurate drinking fountain results at Mildred Strang and French Hill.

Since the district was required to test French Hill, please do not leave out those high lead results.

They owe it to the parents, taxpayers and community.

I hope I have been of help.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Yorktown

I Do Not Make Stuff Up!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote in my column, “Watergate analogies apply to Obama, not Trump,” that President Obama’s Justice Department planted a spy in the Trump campaign. I said I used the term “spy” because this was a counter-intelligence operation, not a criminal investigation, where the term informant would have been proper.

That statement has been brought ...

Interview with Senate Candidate, Robert Kesten

The seat in the 40th Senate District of New York, currently occupied by Republican Sen. Terrence Murphy, is up this year. Senator Murphy, who has announced he is seeking re-election, has already started campaigning. On the Democratic side, newcomer Robert Kesten entered the race. Challenging him for the Democratic nomination is former county Legislator Peter Harckham. Kesten and Harckham will ...

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

Social media recently showered a lot of likes and love on a high school pitcher in Minnesota whose team was playing in a regional final that would send the winning team to the state championship game.

After the last batter of the game struck out, the pitcher did something unheard of. Rather than spontaneously join his teammates in an on-field celebration, as is customary, the pitcher ...

I Come from the Land Down Under

I know this is a family column, so I’m going to put this in as delicate terms as possible.

This morning I woke up and I knew, as sure as the sun shines over Bora Bora, that something was very, very wrong in that place in my body where the Bora Bora sun doesn’t shine.

It’s that place I used to refer to my daughter as her hoo-hoo. But it certainly wasn’t a happy ...

Andy’s at It Again

June 13, 2018

A couple of years ago, I wrote to question why Andy wasn’t citing his sources when he flings dirt at any Democrat he wants to malign.

Well, he’s at it again. In the latest iteration, he tells us that Obama was responsible for putting a spy in the Trump campaign. He then repeats himself three more times to emphasize his point, but gives no proof or evidence to back up the ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ab074581ce7911e17b64_postcard_kickballside

Thu, June 21

Navajo Field, Yorktown Heights

2018 Kickball Registration is Open! Meet, Greet ...

Sports

Thu, June 21, 7:00 PM

NY-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, Cortlandt Manor

Book Club for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Fri, June 22, 9:00 AM

Fourth Unitarian Society of Westchester, Mohegan Lake

Giant Church Tag Sale

Community Calendar

Yorktown Youth Soccer Club Results

June 15, 2018

Sunday, June 10  - The Yorktown Crew clinched the Westchester Youth Soccer League JV-1 Division with a 4-3 win over Rivertown FC on Sunday. The team has been on a remarkable run for the past 2 seasons with a team record of 16-1-1. Sunday’s matchup vs Rivertown had a championship like atmosphere as Rivertown trailed Yorktown by 1 point in the standings. The Crew worked hard all week in ...