Lappin proposes legislation to monitor Second Avenue Subway construction air quality

City Council member Jessica Lappin introduced legislation yesterday that would require the city Department of Environmental Protection to monitor air quality near the Second Avenue Subway construction site and publish results online on a monthly basis, DNAinfo reported. If studies reveal dangerous levels of pollutants, then the DEP commissioner would have to take action.

“I constantly hear about the Second Avenue Subway cough and other health concerns,” Lappin said in a statement. “Residents deserve to know if the air they are breathing is safe.”

Residents living near the Upper East Side construction site, which Lappin’s district covers, say they’ve developed respiratory problems, known as the “Second Avenue Subway cough,” DNAinfo reported.

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However, according to DNAinfo, the MTA conduced its own air quality test back in September, which shows that there were no harmful pollutant levels between 69th and 87th streets.

As previously reported, a federal safety inspection that took place in November found that a worker who was wearing a face mask with improper fit received excessive exposure to silica, a carcinogen.

“Ongoing air monitoring is already in place [and] provides real-time monitoring along the Second Avenue construction site,” said an MTA spokesperson. In addition, the MTA said, silica levels remain underground and is “essentially impossible for it to impact the air quality at the street level 100 feet above.” DEP did not respond to DNAinfo’s requests for comment. [DNAinfo]

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