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Vallone Raises Concern Over Lead Paint Removal

Posted by Mark Smith on July 28, 1999 at 12:18:06:

From Newsday, July 28, 1999, this story by Alfonso A. Castillo, a Newsday staff writer:

Council Speaker Peter Vallone has raised concerns about a New York City Transit plan to remove lead paint from a large section of the N subway line in Queens.

"I certainly don't intend ... to allow this project to spread toxic lead dust throughout the area," Vallone (D-Astoria) said in a letter written Monday to John Cummings, project Manager for TAMS Consultants Inc., a company hired to prepare documents for the project.

Vallone's concerns follow a paint removal project on the Triborough Bridge three years ago. Area residents complained about paint particles blowing onto cars and nearby residential areas. The paint was sanded off the bridge but not properly encapsulated, Vallone said. "The Astoria community was unnecessarily damaged because of poor safety protocols, and I certainly do not intend to let this happen again," Vallone said.

Officials with MTA Bridges and Tunnels have said the paint removed in the 1996 project did not contain lead. The planned project on the N line, however, does specifically involve the removal of lead paint from an approximately two-mile-long steel structure extending from the intersection of Northern Boulevard and 41st Street to the Ditmars Boulevard station. In a letter to Vallone, Cummings said the "the project area is considered environmentally sensitive due to the immediate proximity of residential buildings to the structure."

TAMS contacted Vallone requesting his input on the project, which it would hope to begin in February of next year and conclude the following April. Vallone has requested meeting with New York City Transit consultants, elected officials, Community Board representatives and civic leaders to discuss the project. Vallone told Newsday he "wants to make sure the Transit Authority does this in the best possible manner." Vallone said he understands the project to replace the paint on the N line is necessary, but hopes New

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