City Council Vote Expected on Toxic Schools Construction

REPORTER: The City Council is expected to vote on a controversial plan to build four schools on a contaminated industrial site in the South Bronx. At issue is whether to approve the project now or wait two weeks for an independent environmental assessment of the polluted site, which has mercury and lead. Dave Palmer of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest says the group that requested the assessment is prepared to file a lawsuit if the plan to build the schools is approved.

PALMER: We're going to do everything that we can, use every legal means to ensure that children are safe. And if that means slowing down the process, even temporarily, we're prepared to do that.

REPORTER: City officials say if the Council votes against the plan, they'll have to re-bid it and that could end up costing the city more. The current estimate to clean up the site and build the four schools is $230-million.