Asbestos Abatement Drama at 143 Ludlow Street

Posted on: September 17th, 2012 at 6:09 am by
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With demolition occurring all around them, holdout tenants at 143 Ludlow Street continue grappling with shady protocol. Building stability notwithstanding, the latest health risk is the irresponsible asbestos abatement by ownership. Or really, lack thereof.

We were alerted a few weeks ago to new DOB permits that indicated renovations in additional apartments did not require related asbestos abatement “as defined in the regulations of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.” False. EMSL Analytical Inc. – an independent third party tester – was hired to conduct an examination of the debris being swept around the premises. Their results showed contamination “above Federal EPA Recommended limit” at 50% Chrysotile.

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In the ensuing period, the DEP arrived onsite and set up camp E.T. style with plastic drapes and space suits (sans jangly keys, though). The city agency reportedly discovered concentrations of asbestos all over the top floors, which resulted in an immediate stop work order on the property (from DEP, not DOB).

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Contractor grunts have been sweeping the deadly debris from the floors without intervention until now. Tenants who’ve had dust blow through their windows are furious at the alleged mishandling of abatement, having breathed full-levels of asbestos for weeks. One resident sent a barbed letter to the landlord asking why no one was alerted to the toxic situation for weeks. Especially given that most cleanup was conducted “with an open doorway leading directly into the public hallway with dust covering the floor being tracked through the hallways and subsequently into tenants’ apartments.” To make matters worse, this person in particular “had my ceiling cave in and my entire apartment covered in dust and debris.”

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And the response – a middle-of-the-road statement saying the landlord is “extremely sensitive” to the well-being of tenants with “full permits and supervision of appropriate governmental bodies” in place.

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