Dec. 19, 2017 By Tara Law
A bill requiring the MTA and the New York City Transit Authority to study lead levels on aboveground subway stations whenever renovations are made was signed into law Monday.
The new law requires the MTA to assess the lead paint levels whenever it renovates or repaints an elevated station to determine whether that station is in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.
If the lead levels are found to be high—including on the tracks and surrounding trestles–the MTA must recommend how those levels can be reduced and assess the cost of such measures.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill, which State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowtiz (D- Bronx) sponsored and passed through their respective chambers in June.
The studies will be conducted in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health.
“New Yorkers will feel safer knowing that dangerous lead paint levels in the subway system will be dealt with from now on,” Peralta said in a statement. “For too long, lead paint chips have been falling onto the streets.”
Peralta said that new law comes at a good time, since the MTA is about to repaint the elevated tracks on the 7 line.
The legislation was prompted by a report published by International Union of Painters that found that paint chips falling from the 7 train tracks at the 52nd Street station contained 224,000 parts per million of lead paint— more than 40 times the legal threshold.