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Contaminants found near WTC site
CNN.com, January 26, 2005
NEW YORK (AP) -- High levels of asbestos, lead and other contaminants have been
found in a vacant skyscraper badly damaged during the 2001 terror attacks,
potentially complicating the rebuilding of ground zero.
A consultant to the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. revealed the findings at a
public hearing where neighbors, environmental advocates and union
representatives talked about their concerns over plans to dismantle the 40-story
Deutsche Bank building.
The consultant said concentrations of asbestos, lead and silica on the
building's exterior and in elevator shafts, conduits and ductwork exceeded
benchmarks set by the Environmental Protection Agency, The New York Times
Critics of the plan fear the demolition will kick contaminants into the air and
that workers inside the building would not be adequately protected.
"Workers are essentially, and unfortunately, the canaries for the community,"
said David M. Newman of the nonprofit New York Committee for Occupational Safety
Government permits are needed before the plan can proceed.
EPA officials say they are not opposed to the dismantling, but support steps to
reduce the environmental impact.
The building is across the street from the trade center site. Falling debris
from the attack tore a gash in its facade, allowing in water that contributed to
a severe infestation of mold inside. Officials eventually decided it was easier
to tear it down piece by piece and rebuild than to repair it.
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