‘Ticking time bombs.’ Rep. Nydia Velazquez unveils legislation to prevent lithium-ion battery fires

Velazquez is asking the federal government for $100 million a year to fund publicly accessible stations around the city for the next five years.

News 12 Staff

Mar 11, 2023, 10:43 PM

Updated 435 days ago

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Rep. Nydia Velazquez has unveiled new legislation to prevent lithium-ion battery fires.  
This comes a month after a battery is believed to have sparked a fire that killed a 67-year-old woman in Bushwick.  
Velazquez visited the site of the blaze at 14 Goodwin Place to reveal the legislation, which aims to create safer charging and storage spaces for the batteries.  
Velazquez is asking the federal government for $100 million a year to fund publicly accessible stations around the city for the next five years.  
"The faulty nature of many of these batteries, unsafe storage methods and improper maintenance make them ticking time bombs that pose a serious threat to New Yorkers,” she said.  
The FDNY says they’ve responded to an average of three fires a week caused by lithium-ion batteries, which are often used to power e-bikes and e-scooters.  
Velazquez says she wants to improve safety without limiting delivery worker’s ability to earn a living.  
“Over 65,000 New York delivery workers rely on e-bike scooters and other mobility devices. This situation is unattainable and the longer we wait to act, the more lives we put at risk,” she said.  
As the bill is sent off to the U.S. Transportation Committee, Velazquez says her goal is to ensure that New Yorkers are left with safer options for charging and handling of batteries as soon as possible.


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