MTA Finds Second Avenue Subway Air Safe

Upper East Side residents living near the Second Avenue subway construction zone disagree.

By Andrew Siff
|  Friday, Jan 27, 2012  |  Updated 11:37 AM EDT
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People who live near the Second Avenue Subway project complain the dust from construction is making them sick.

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Despite the MTA's findings that the air quality in the Second Avenue subway construction zone is safe, residents weren't buying it Thursday night.

At a hearing of the Second Avenue Task Force, neighbors said the daily blasts from the project have been making them sick.

"It's the Second Avenue cough," said Susan Raab. "I definitely have respiratory problems."

But MTA's top executive repeated what he's told neighbors this past month.

"We are not endangering the public health," said Dr. Michael Horodniceanu.

Horodniceanu said the agency has performed rigorous tests. The monitors found no toxic chemicals above EPA standards, he said.

"The data shows we are not causing any current or future threat to the people around Second Avenue," said Horodniceanu.

But residents, already weary of the project's other problems and delays, were skeptical.

"I don't think anyone believes them," said Linda Robbins.

Robbins is among the thousands of Upper East Siders skeptical in part because of the timeline: the $4 billion subway isn't slated to open until December 2016. That's nearly five years away.

"They haven't built a subway in 200 years, and yet everything they're doing is perfect," said Robbins.

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