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Asbestos Testing to Start Immediately; Deadline for Assistance Requests Extended

Release Date: 08/16/2002
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(#02080) New York, New York – EPA announced today that it will start the scheduling of testing for airborne asbestos in residences in lower Manhattan today and that testing will start in one week. At the same time, the Agency announced that the deadline for residents to request assistance has been extended 30 days to October 2, 2002.

Residents living below Canal, Allen and Pike Streets may ask to have their homes cleaned and tested for airborne asbestos by certified asbestos contractors or they may ask for testing alone under EPA’s Lower Manhattan Dust Cleanup Program. To date, 822 people have requested testing and 2,997 have asked for cleaning and testing.

A subset of 100 residences have been selected to be tested and will be contacted directly by EPA to schedule testing. Two firms, Weston Solutions, Inc. and W.R.S. Infrastructure and Environment, Inc., will test up to 100 residences under separate EPA contracts during the time needed to complete the contracting process for the project at large. Full scale cleaning and/or testing is expected to start in September.

Some dust from the World Trade Center collapse has been shown to contain asbestos and other contaminants. EPA believes this action-oriented cleanup and testing program will reduce risk of possible long-term exposure and related health effects.

The decision to extend the request deadline was made in response to requests from the public for more time to consider their personal situations. The original deadline was September 3, 2002. Lower Manhattan residents may request assistance via EPA’s World Trade Center Web site ( or by calling EPA’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-796-5471 (TTY for the deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-396-1018).