As many of you know, Sane Energy Project has been concerned about radon in New York City’s gas supply ever since the issue was raised by the Sierra Club in 2011, going so far as to conduct our own investigation into local radon levels. Since that time, several enviro groups have pressed for action: Both Sierra Club and Sane Energy Project have filed lawsuits against the Spectra pipeline alleging that proper environmental reviews should have taken radon into account; our friends at Occupy the Pipeline issued a video about radon that has recently gone viral, with nearly half a million hits as of this writing; in 2012, Damascus Citizens called on City Council speaker Christine Quinn to hold public hearings, with a letter signed by hundreds of civic groups.
The Speaker–now a candidate for mayor–chose to table that request, but a public forum on the issue will now be held anyway: Former DEP commissioner, Al Appleton, who has previously spoken about the connection between boiler conversions, new pipelines and radon, has created a forum to be held at the historic Great Hall of Cooper Union, on May 14th. Admission is free but registration is required.
Experts will testify as to why radon from Marcellus shale could create a public health crisis for NYC, and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal will speak about her new bill, which would require the monitoring and mitigation of radon in gas supplied by utilities. There will be an opportunity for audience Q&A and to sign a petition in support of the bill. We hope all our supporters will get on the phone to their local Assembly Members and State Senators to ask for their support on this bill. And it looks like City Council may come out with a resolution in support of it too–stay tuned, we’ll have updates as they develop!