NEW YORK – The New York City Council will hold an oversight hearing on recent water tests at the Jacob Riis complex this Friday.
Since last Friday, September 2, when the public first learned that arsenic had been mistakenly detected in the water at the Jacob Riis Houses and residents were told their water was unsafe to drink, a full count has been provided. of what happened in the days before the discovery.
Friday’s hearing seeks to follow up on recent tests, after New York City reported that the water had tested negative for arsenic and was safe to drink. To prove it, even the mayor of New York, Eric Adams, went to the Jacob Riis complex with the NYC Health Commissioner and took a drink of the water in search of providing peace of mind to the affected tenants.
“I went to Riis, opened the tap, filled the glass and drank it whole. The water is fine. The evidence is clear,” Adams said on Saturday.
This hearing is also yet another opportunity for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the Adams administration to provide the transparency promised to the tenants of Jacob Riis and defuse the mixed feelings caused after the fact, as indicated by the Council in its statement.
The New York City Council said residents deserve to understand a clear timeline of what happened, who made the key decisions, and who should be held accountable for those decisions.
Following their meeting, the Council is also expected to hold a conference detailing the oversight and investigations into the water testing at the Jacob Riis Houses.
The Mayor’s Office even posted a video Monday reminding New Yorkers that clean water comes from a reservoir upstate.
Dozens of tenants signed with high-profile attorney, Sanford Rubenstein, seeking a million-dollar settlement after the false alarm of arsenic in the water.
Rubenstein said they are suing NYCHA for $10 million even though tests from the Illinois-based Environmental Monitoring and Technologies lab were apparently bogus. The company known as EMT says it accidentally put arsenic in the test samples while looking for silver sediment, but nothing had contaminated the water.
“Victims have a right to receive damages even if they are not sick, but they are afraid of getting sick in this situation,” Rubenstein said.
“We know there have been years of distrust in NYCHA and rightly so. We have to rebuild that trust, and you do it by being on the field and being very clear,” Adams said then.