Tell Governor Cuomo: West 97th St. Construction Requires Environmental Impact Study
  • Petitioning Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo

This petition will be delivered to:

Governor, State of New York
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
Commissioner, New York State Department of Health
Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H.
Commissioner, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Joe Martens

Tell Governor Cuomo: West 97th St. Construction Requires Environmental Impact Study

    1. Petition by

      The Park West Villiage Tenants' Association

We are parents and teachers of children attending Public School 163 on West 97th Street in Manhattan, and we are residents and elected representatives of the surrounding neighborhood. Together, we are a coalition of community stakeholders, nursing home advocates, tenants’ associations, and other concerned citizens.

Proposed Construction Site Has Toxic Levels of Lead

Construction of a 20-story nursing home is proposed to break ground next door to the 3-story P.S. 163. Despite the fact this construction would expose the school children to airborne lead and dust, along with excessive noise and potential construction equipment hazards, there has been no environmental impact assessment, nor is there a plan for one.

As citizens, and as your constituents, we call upon you, Governor Cuomo, to assure that current laws are observed addressing the imminent danger posed to both the school children and the residents of the neighborhood. If we cannot trust our elected officials to put our health and safety first, whom can we trust?

Source of the Lead

The proposed construction site is a private parking lot that has been in use for more than 50 years. The cars and trucks that parked there used leaded gasoline, which was in use until 1996. Each time a car or truck engine was turned on or off, the combustion exhausted particulates containing lead that went through the tailpipes into the parking lot, and were absorbed by the soil, where they have remained for over 50 years.

In 2012-13, a lead expert tested 100 samples of soil from this parking lot and 11 NYCHA parking lots, citywide. Analysis revealed that the highest lead level of all of the soil samples was in the 97th Street parking lot, as well as six of the highest top ten lead levels of all the parking lots tested throughout New York City.

The scientific evidence is clear and unequivocal that the parking lot contains toxic levels of lead that if disturbed by construction and made airborne would be toxic to young children, pregnant women, seniors, people with respiratory problems and others. (Please note, Governor, that all of the supporting scientific data will be sent to you along with this petition.)

Specifically, we, the undersigned, call upon you, along with Commissioner Nirav Shah and Commissioner Joe Martens, to:

1. Direct the New York State Department of Health Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and the Bureau of Community Environmental Health, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Environmental Permits, to conduct an environmental impact assessment as prescribed by (SEQR) State Environmental Quality Review 6 NYCRR Part 617, regarding the construction of a 20-story nursing home on West 97th Street adjacent to Public School 163, as this construction would release substances acutely hazardous to public health, safety, and the environment.

2. Order the submission of an environmental impact statement by the nursing home facility, Jewish Home Lifecare, as required by law and regulation, and require such remedial action as each agency deems necessary.


[Additional environmental factors in petition letter, below]

Recent signatures


    1. Action Alert: Call Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Shah Now!

      NYS Dept of Health ruled that the plan to build a 20-story nursing home on W 97th St MAY HAVE A SIGNIFICANT EFFECT ON THE ENVIRONMENT.

      A Public Scoping Meeting to present “The Scoping Document of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement” (DEIS) is scheduled for Thurs June 27, 6:30 PM at PS 163.

      NYSDOH is not adhering to the CEQR Technical Manual timeline: Notice of public meeting “will be not less than 30 nor more than 45 days prior to holding the public scoping meeting.”

      The purpose of the public meeting is “to allow all involved and interested agencies and members of the public an opportunity to comment on the scope of the DEIS.” (

      Tell Gov Cuomo and Comm. Shah you demand DOH comply w/CEQR regulations. Request the meeting be scheduled during the school year. Sen. Perkins, Boro Pres. Stringer and Council Member Brewer have.

      Gov Cuomo: 518-474-8390
      Comm. Shah: DOHWEB@HEALTH.STATE.NY.US 518-474-2011

      JHL EIS Scoping Proposal

      p 11- 27 are most important. This document describes the proposed scope of the the Environmental Impact Study required of Jewish Home Lifecare by NYS Department of Health.

    2. Reached 2,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Carrie E. Simpson NEW YORK, NY
      • 8 days ago

      Impact on lives. and health of children.

    • Carole Polsky NY, NY
      • 8 days ago

      I am concerned that my health will be affected by the release of detrimental substances.

    • Linda McBride ITHACA, NY
      • 3 months ago

      Though no longer a resident of this neighborhood, I grew up on 93rd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam and lived there for 21 years. As a psychologist I know the harmful effects of lead on health and cognitive functioning. All precautions must be taken when risking the exposure of citizens, especially children, to such a toxin.

    • Kim Haslinger NEW YORK, NY
      • 6 months ago

      Although we do not live in the neighborhood, this is our community. We spend a significant amount of time in this neighborhood and are concerned for the health and welfare of all who share this space.

    • Glennys Perez NEW YORK, NY
      • 7 months ago

      Concerns for the children


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