Air Today . . . Gone Tomorrow Article

High Levels Of Contaminants At WTC Site
1010 WINS, January 26, 2005

(1010 WINS) NEW YORK An examination of shafts, ducts, conduits and other areas of the abandoned Deutsche Bank, near the World Trade Center site, shows high levels of contaminants like lead, asbestos and other materials.

A consultant to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation revealed the findings at a public hearing, The New York Times reported for Wednesday editions. At the hearing, neighbors, environmental advocates and union representatives talked about their concerns over plans made to dismantle the Liberty Street building, which was damaged by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

TRC, the consultant to the development corporation, found average concentrations of asbestos, lead and silica on the building's exterior exceeded benchmarks in elevator shafts, floor conduits and heating and ventilation ductwork.

The LMDC needs government permits before the plan can proceed and federal, state and city regulators haven't responded yet.

Critics of the plan were worried that workers would not be protected from the hazardous materials.

``Workers are essentially, and unfortunately, the canaries for the community,'' said David M. Newman of the nonprofit New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.

The Environmental Protection Agency also expressed concerns about scant information on air monitoring and contaminant levels in small spaces through the building.

EPA officials say they are not opposed to the dismantling, but support ``steps that can be taken to reduce the environmental impacts from taking this building down,'' said Mary Mears, the agency's regional chief of public outreach.

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