Federal oversight investigates arsenic in tap water at NYCHA facility in Manhattan

NEWYORK – A federal investigation is underway after thousands of people on the Lower East Side have been notified not drink or cook with their tap water for days.

That’s because high levels of arsenic are found in NYCHAJacob Riis’ houses span about six blocks, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported Sunday night.

A source told her that the situation was being looked at “very, very seriously.”

READ MORE: Arsenic detected in tap water at East Village NYCHA complex

The residents spent the weekend picking up cases of water being distributed. Several people told Rozner they reported changes in the country earlier this summer, but no one took them seriously.

On Sunday night, tenant Migdalia Gonzalez showed Rozner the water coming out of her faucet in the Jacob Riis House. This, after the city required residents to run the water for three hours as a precaution against arsenic contamination in the building’s pipes.

Like Mayor Eric Adams Bart Schwartz, NYCHA’s federally imposed custodian, notified NYCHA officials to “ensure the integrity of any investigation” and for the safety of residents, “preserve all all documents relating to this matter”. .. including electronic and paperwork contact information, test results and timelines.

An NYCHA spokesperson told Rozner, “NYCHA has kept all of our documents and records. We will continue to be transparent with the public throughout this process.”

The tenants said they had been complaining to 311 for weeks.

Fuaco Abreu said: “This whole week, the water is, as they say, brown.

One person shared with CBS2 a video filmed last month showing water that looks like mist coming out of a faucet.

The mayor’s office said there is no evidence that haze is linked to arsenic levels, but the NYCHA began testing the water last month.

A spokesman said this week’s results show “arsenic levels well above the federal standard for drinking water.”

Since 2001, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has considered 10 parts per billion as the safe limit for arsenic levels. The city said tests of Jacob Riis’ units found arsenic levels between 12 and 14 parts per billion.

“I haven’t showered in three days. I use washcloths,” Abreu said. “Because of your skin, you can feel, you know, like something burning when you shower in that water.”

“I will credit the NYCHA and the health authorities for taking action in this case when the results were low, indicating a potentially unsafe level of arsenic. In fact, one test level for arsenic. seen below the EPA threshold, but they acted with extreme caution Mark Levine speak.

“My biggest concern is that from the initial report, it took a few weeks for them to start testing again. I believe it was around August 12, August 13 and then the concern too. is how long it takes for those results to come in. I believe it’s almost two weeks,” said Public Advocate. Jumaane Williams speak.

Results are expected back Monday for the latest round of sampling to determine next steps.

The city says the issue only affects residents of Jacob Riis Houses and that the rest of the city’s water is safe to drink.

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