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Statement on Water Situation at Riis Houses

September 9, 2022

NEW YORK – The following is a statement from Fabien Levy, press secretary to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, on the water situation at the Jacob Riis Houses in Manhattan:

“Today, Environmental Monitoring and Technologies — the original lab that provided the initial test results claiming there was arsenic in the water at Riis Houses issued a full retraction and released revised results, calling their initial results ‘incorrect.’ Worse yet, the company has now admitted to being the ones that introduced arsenic into the samples, leading to the false results.

“Environmental Monitoring and Technologies also today released results of a retest they initiated of the original samples and found the results to be negative for arsenic. This matches the separate retest we conducted through a different vendor, LiRo Environmental. We have now tested more than 140 points — both at the source and at the point of delivery — and we can confidently say the water at Riis Houses is and has been free of any discernable amount of arsenic since the initial tests were initiated in August. Needless to say, neither NYCHA nor any other city agency will test water through Environmental Monitoring and Technologies any longer, and the city intends to pursue all available legal options on behalf of the residents of Riis Houses.

“Above all else, the health and safety of residents remain our top priorities and we continue to approach the situation with an extreme level of care, which is why, earlier this week, we initiated a number of additional tests through LiRo Environmental for other contaminants. Initial results for typical contaminants have now come back negative. We expect to have additional results for non-typical contaminants tomorrow. In the meantime, out of an abundance of caution, we are continuing to ask Riis Houses residents not to drink or cook with the water in their buildings until these final test results are returned and analyzed. We continue to provide clean water for anyone who needs it.

“We have and will continue to be transparent about the information we receive. As such, we will be releasing the initial arsenic reports from Environmental Monitoring and Technologies that we now know to be inaccurate and the revised reports from the company provided to us today, as well as the negative results we received from LiRo Environmental earlier this week. We will continue to provide updates as we get them.”

Environmental Monitoring and Technologies today issued the following “Statement of Retracted and Revised Results” on their initial arsenic tests at the Jacob Riis Houses.


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