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The Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC) will conduct an air quality monitoring program throughout the Lower Manhattan rebuilding process. The program will begin this summer by collecting background data and proceed throughout peak construction activity through 2008, and it will be an important tool to help ensure environmental safety and minimize construction impacts to the downtown community.
The program will be administered by the LMCCC in consultation with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
“As we move forward with the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, we want to make sure every necessary step is taken to ensure the health and safety of the downtown community,” Governor Pataki’s Chief of Staff John Cahill said. “The program will allow us to monitor air quality during construction and take the measures needed to protect our environment. There will be a great deal of construction in Lower Manhattan in the coming months and years, and we will make sure that the community is informed and protected throughout the rebuilding process.”
“The Construction Command Center will consistently monitor the air quality in Lower Manhattan neighborhoods to ensure that construction projects are not adversely affecting the health of Lower Manhattan residents and businesses,” Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center Executive Director Charles Maikish said. “Among the major goals of the Command Center is to mitigate the impact of construction on the Lower Manhattan community, including monitoring air quality, and to assure that project sponsors carry out their environmental performance commitments during construction.”
Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan said, "DEC is proud to partner with State and federal agencies to ensure the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan proceeds in an environmentally sound manner. This is one of the most significant projects ever undertaken in New York, and our air monitoring efforts will be an important component to protect the environmental quality and public health in the area around construction activities."
“Ensuring the quality of life for the people of Lower Manhattan continues to be a priority as we rebuild,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “DEP is supportive of this monitoring effort by the federal, state and local governments.”
The LMCCC’s monitoring program will help preserve environmental quality and safety through data collection, assessment, and coordination among construction activities. The program will focus on preventing elevated concentrations of particulate matter in surrounding neighborhoods during construction and will inform measures to minimize potential impacts. The LMCCC will analyze both short-term and long-term data throughout the rebuilding process in order to take appropriate mitigation action and enforcement if necessary.
The air monitoring program will consist of fixed air samplers located in the neighborhoods surrounding the sites of major construction activities in Lower Manhattan including the World Trade Center Site redevelopment, the deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street, the Route 9A reconstruction, Fulton Street Transit Center, and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. The proposed vicinities of the air monitoring locations include: northern Battery Park City/Tribeca, southern Battery Park City, Park Row/City Hall Park, and the Financial District.
The program will begin this summer by collecting background air quality data before full construction of the Lower Manhattan rebuilding projects commences. This background data is necessary for baseline monitoring and comparative purposes once full construction is underway. When major construction begins, the LMCCC will monitor daily and weekly air quality data. The data will be examined to determine any trends or deviations from the baseline conditions. Threshold levels will be established that will trigger further investigatory and/or corrective actions as needed by the LMCCC. Data will be made available to the public on a timely basis.
The LMCCC’s air monitoring program is just one part of a comprehensive environmental construction performance plan for Lower Manhattan. The plan also includes project environmental performance commitments such as the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in off-road construction equipment. Construction sites will be encouraged to use electrically powered equipment instead of diesel powered equipment where practical. Idling times on diesel powered engines will be restricted to three minutes. Dust control measures will be enforced at construction sites, limiting the release of particulate matter. The Command Center will also have ability to monitor and enforce these environmental performance commitments.
Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg created the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, to ensure that construction conflicts do not hinder the rebuilding effort, while also minimizing the impact of construction on residents, businesses, workers and commuters. The Construction Command Center will serve as a one-stop shop for information and advisories on construction activities, traffic rerouting, and other important topics.