Rep. Ryan calls on Verizon to disclose location of lead cables in New York

The press conference comes after members from Cornwall Cleanup Crew said they discovered an abandoned lead cable on the ground during a routine cleanup near the intersection of Cedar Lane and Quaker Avenue.

Jade Nash

Mar 16, 2024, 9:27 PM

Updated 70 days ago

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Concerned residents and environmentalists joined Democratic Rep. Pat Ryan at a press conference in Cornwall on Saturday as he called on Verizon to disclose the location of all lead cables in New York.
"Lead is incredibly dangerous and incredibly toxic," Ryan said. "If it seeps into our water and bleeds into soil and air, it's very dangerous."
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The press conference comes after members from Cornwall Cleanup Crew said they discovered an abandoned lead cable on the ground during a routine cleanup near the intersection of Cedar Lane and Quaker Avenue.
"Having taken a dig safe course years ago, they go over the different types of cable you may encounter, and this was one of them. So, I kind of knew what it was at that point," said Angelo Schembari, a member from Cornwall Cleanup Crew.
After the press conference wrapped, Ryan stopped by the scene to check it all out.
"When you see it... firsthand... [it's shocking,] one, how much wire there is, [and] two, how exposed it is," Ryan said.
Ryan also emphasized how concerning it is to have the cable laying on the ground near a watershed.
"This is water that people are drinking from their wells, in their homes. It's exactly what were afraid of," Ryan said.
A spokesperson from USTelecom, a trade association representing the telecom industry, issued a statement, saying in part that, “The U.S. telecom industry prioritizes the health and safety of its communities and workers. We will continue to follow the science, which has not identified that lead-sheathed telecom cables are a leading cause of lead exposure or the cause of a public health issue."
Ryan said, however, it's ultimately the responsibility of telecom companies, like Verizon, to disclose the locations of these cables and clean them up.
"They should foot the bill," Ryan said. "Taxpayers shouldn't have to clean up the mess of these corporations."


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