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NEW YORK CITY-Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday signed a quartet of bills intended to stiffen oversight at construction and demolition sites and bolster standpipe and sprinkler safety. The signing, which follows last month’s approval of the measures by the City Council, follows the enactment in June of five other laws drafted in response to the fatal 2007 fire at 130 Liberty St., the former Deutsche Bank building.

Introductory Number 993-A, which Bloomberg signed Thursday, mandates that plans be submitted to the Department of Buildings for review before a permit for demolition work is issued. Three other bills–994-A, 999-A and 1000-A–establish uniform color-coding of standpipe and sprinkler systems, require site safety managers to conduct regular checks of standpipes at construction and demolition sites and require both a master plumbing or master fire-suppression license and a permit to cut and cap standpipes or sprinklers during demolition projects.

“Construction work has inherent risks, but these bills will mitigate those risks and better protect emergency responders, workers and the public,” Bloomberg said at Thursday’s signing ceremony.

In June, Bloomberg signed bills that, among other things, prohibit smoking at construction sites or on any floor where asbestos abatement activity is taking place. “As you may recall, the fire at 130 Liberty was started by a lit cigarette that had been left at the site,” Bloomberg said when signing those bills. He also signed measures establishing a framework for issuing permits on asbestos abatement projects, requiring the city’s Department of Environmental Protection to provide guidance to contractors on how to maintain safe abatement project sites and mandating that the DOB, DEP and Fire Department develop a process to share building inspection data among the three departments.

These new laws, along with three others that have yet to be voted on, are based on recommendations from the Construction, Demolition & Abatement Working Group that was convened after the August’07 blaze at the former Deutsche Bank building. They involved input from the public sector, including presidents Gary La Barbera of the Building and Construction Trades Council, Lou Coletti of the Building Trades Employers Assoc., Stephen Spinola of the Real Estate Board of New York and Frank Garito of the Environmental Contractors Assoc. of New York City.

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