Op-Ed: Fighting Sandy, nine months later


Our fight with Sandy’s aftereffects is just starting. Businesses and houses flooded by the storm whose owners do not properly mitigate mold will see that mold start to come back as the summer heats up.

Believe it or not, there is no certified training for mold removal and mitigation in New York State; that is why I have introduced legislation to certify mold training.

We need to treat mold as we do asbestos, and have properly outfitted and trained workers remove that mold so that it cannot come back to injure our children and elderly, and those of us with repertory issues like asthma.

Simply spilling bleach on black mold turns it white. Let’s say you have white walls — how would you know if continues to grow?

On Coney Island, Sandy has left another horrible aftereffect, sinkholes.

Coney Island is a sandbar at its most basic, lowest level. That sand shifted and created new vacuums and underground rivers during and after the storm.

I am sure if you have driven down Mermaid, Neptune and Surf Avenues, you have noticed gaping potholes that seem to grow every day. Some of these holes have swallowed the cones and markers the Department of Transportation placed over them. Councilmember Domenic Recchia and I have endeavored to identify these sinkholes and  inform DOT of their existence.

Even sadder, in several NYCHA housing developments, the sinkholes have necessitated closure of the playgrounds.

Closing a playground at any time of year is unacceptable. But to have several of the playgrounds off limits due to sinkholes during summer vacation is horrible.

I will continue to press NYCHA to solve this sinkhole problem and get these playgrounds open as soon as it is safe for our children to play in them.

State Senator Diane J. Savino represents the 23rd Senate District in Staten Island and Brooklyn, including portions of Coney Island, Seagate, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Brighton Beach, Marlboro Houses, Sunset Park and the Bay Ridge Towers.  


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