Council Approves Final Demolition Safety Bill

NY 1 - December 01, 2009

The City Council passed Monday the 12th and final piece of legislation in response to the deadly 2007 fire at the former Deutsche Bank Building. In a 45-0 vote, the Council agreed to prohibit simultaneous demolition and asbestos abatement activities within the same building unless approved by the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Buildings, and the New York City Fire Department.

The Council says it's too dangerous to have demolition and asbestos abatement going on at the same time.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn says asbestos containment structures may also impede firefighters' access to areas of the building when this work is done simultaneously.

"Demolition and abatement of asbestos as a matter of course is not safer to be done together," Quinn said. "We've raised the standard today in way that makes building work much safer in the City of New York and hopefully fire fighting safer in the City of New York."

City firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino died after they could not get water out of a broken standpipe inside the damaged Lower Manhattan office tower.