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Construction project halted for Asbestos concerns
ALBANY -- Public safety concerns over an old building being renovated in Albany. A city councilman claims asbestos might have been improperly removed from the roof on the Philip Livingston Magnet Academy. The company removing it says they did not put anyone in danger.
Common council member Ronald Bailey said, "the people who were working on this abatement had the white uniforms on and the masks but they didn't care about the people outside this fence. They shot it down the chute and the wind is blowing it all over like the wind's blowing today. So everybody's inhailing it."
Another company working on asbestos removal inside the building said it was following proper protocol on its project.
"The area's completely plasticized," said Molain Gilmore, owner of Precision Environmental Solutions. "You're in containment you can't come out. When you're in there you're fully suited and respirated inside. How about the actual asbestos itself? The asbestos itself is double and in some cases triple baged and tagged."
But neighbors still have concerns about the old building close to their homes -- and the work that was being done on the roof.
"I've been watching the construction when I pass through here, and I don't like it because asbestos that's very dangerous for people," said Frank Ruemmele.
A representative who handles media relations for WinnCompanies, which is developing the property, contacted us saying that no construction activites were done illegally here. Safety and health of the community and construction workers is a top priority. She went on to say construction resumed normally today and is being done in full compliance.
There was initially a discrepancy between who was responsible at for the removal of asbestos on the roof at first. Precision Environmental Solutions was thought to be responsible because it had a permit on file with the City of Albany. WeatherGuard Tecta America was working on the roof and did not file a permit. A stop work order was issued on roof asbestos removal. WeatherGuard has since filed for its permit, and representatives from that firm deny any wrongdoing in the process of removing the asbestos. Ed Lawless from WeatherGuard said his company goes above and beyond what is standard procedure.