CHICAGO-Owners of buildings 80 feet or taller will be required to prepare evacuation plans under an ordinance passed by the city council. The final version gives owners of smaller version a break from more stringent requirements in the original proposal in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the US.

Buildings 780 feet or taller, which would include the Sears Tower, John Hancock, Aon and First National Bank towers, will be required to conduct at least two safety drills every year.

Buildings 540 feet or taller, which would begin taking in such structures as the IBM Building, also would be required to have their evacuation plans on file with the city’s office of emergency communications.

All buildings 275 feet or higher would be required to designate on-site emergency personnel to lead drills or evacuations. Although buildings 80 feet to 275 feet would be encouraged to follow suit, that requirement was dropped after owners and managers cited a lack of available personnel for on-site emergency duties.

Violators face fines ranging from $500 to $10,000.

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