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NEW YORK CITY-Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday signed a bill prohibiting simultaneous demolition and asbestos abatement activities within the same building. The measure, which was passed by the City Council last week, is the last of 12 bills written in response to the fatal August 2007 blaze at the former Deutsche Bank building.

“Simultaneous demolition and abatement activities should be a rare occurrence, and when needed, must be approved and closely monitored by the Department of Buildings, Department of Environmental Protection and the Fire Department,” Bloomberg said at a bill-signing ceremony Monday. “The possibility of a dangerous, even life threatening, situation is increased when demolition work is combined with asbestos abatement activities.”

All 12 bills grew out of recommendations devised by a working group Bloomberg convened to review oversight and operations at construction, demolition and abatement sites. A release from the City Council says the group found “multiple regulatory gaps” that increased the likelihood of fires such as the one in the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty St., in which two New York City firefighters lost their lives. The group then developed 33 recommendations focusing on inspection processes, general oversight, field operations and data sharing.

Other bills passed by the council earlier this year are intended to: improve inter-agency coordination and information between DEP, DOB and FDNY; establish an asbestos abatement permit program; ban smoking at construction and demolition sites; require DEP to guide environmental contractors on maintaining entrances/exits at abatement sites; prohibit smoking on any floor of a building where asbestos abatement is taking place; require site safety managers to check standpipes on a daily basis and trace the system on a weekly basis; establish uniform color coding of standpipe and sprinkler systems; require a permit to cut and cap standpipes or sprinklers during demolition; require a detailed plan for demolition when the project includes the use of mechanical equipment; require the use of air-pressurized alarm systems for dry standpipes during construction or demolition; and require new or altered sprinkler systems to undergo successful hydrostatic pressure testing.

Bloomberg also signed a bill extending the Times Square BID to include the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park. The tower borders on both the Bryant Park and Times Square BIDs, and BofA had requested that the property be included in both. It was made part of the Bryant Park BID earlier this year.

Additionally, Bloomberg and city officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday on the $50-million restoration of McCarren Pool in Brooklyn, which is scheduled to reopen as a public pool and recreation center in 2012. It is one of eight regional parks to be developed as part of the Bloomberg administration’s PlaNYC program.

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