Burned WTC Area Skyscraper to be Sealed

September 14, 2007

Workers will seal a contaminated a New York City ground zero skyscraper damaged in a fatal fire at the same time new fire safety measures are adopted in the building, officials overseeing the building’s demolition said.

The former Deutsche Bank building’s owner, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., gave no timetable for when it would close windows on several floors that have been open to the elements since the Aug. 18 blaze, which killed two firefighters. Several more meetings will have to precede any work at the condemned building.

But officials from the LMDC, the city and the federal Environmental Protection Agency agreed in a meeting Wednesday to simultaneously seal the building and complete necessary safety work, the EPA said.

At a downtown Manhattan community board meeting last week, LMDC Chairman Avi Schick and Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler said the building would not be sealed until other safety work is completed; Schick said that could take weeks. An EPA official publicly criticized the move, and the agency wrote letters to the LMDC demanding that the building be resealed immediately.

Air tests have shown no dangerous levels of asbestos and other chemicals that have been released.

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