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August 2009 Newsletter

What’s New

On June 29, Mayor Bloomberg signed five bills into law to improve safety at construction, demolition, and asbestos abatement sites across NYC.  Yarmus Engineering, P.C. staff are familiar with the new regulations, and remain ready to assist its clientele with their asbestos abatement and demolition projects which may be affected by the new laws.

Recent Projects

  •  Evaluation of mold and moisture conditions at a Rockland County structure, including recommendations for remedial work
  • Review of conditions, work procedures, and applicable standards regarding blasting where an adjacent Dutchess County structure is alleged to have been damaged by nearby demolition activities
  • Inspection of scaffolding, safety harness, and tagline in Brooklyn which were involved in an accident where a contractor fell from an elevated work area

The Oldest Established Permanent

Temporary Sheds of New York

Until a few decades ago, the presence of a sidewalk shed in New York City indicated that work was actually in-progress.  “If you saw that a wall was leaning, you did something,” says Ken Buettner, president of York Scaffold, one of the city’s big, unionized shed builders. Yet many owners, he says, “maintained a continuing nonmaintenance regimen”.

That ended in 1979, when masonry fell from an apartment building, killing a Columbia University student.  The city reacted by passing a law in 1980 that required that owners check every facade taller than five stories every five years.  If any portion of the building appears to be in danger of falling, up goes a shed.  If an inspector spots a crack, up goes a shed.  When something does fall off a building, up goes a shed.

On July 21, 2009, The Wall Street Journal ran an article summarizing the abundance of sidewalk sheds in New York City.  Please click here to read the article.

Yarmus Engineering, P.C. is available to assist its clients with these required City facade inspections, as well as to provide construction management services or observations during construction to assist in ensuring that such sidewalk sheds be taken down as expeditiously as possible once they have been erected.  Please contact our office if we can be assistance to you or your clients. 

Illinois EPA proposal could lead to

tougher cleanup rules at dry clean sites

The dry cleaning solvent percloroethylene, also known as perc, and trichloroethylene, a related chemical used to clean metal parts, have been linked to health problems including cancer, liver damage, and neurological ailments.

A common solution for venting such gases in contaminated structures is also used in homes with elevated levels of radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas.  To minimize indoor ambient radon levels, a contractor can cut into the basement slab, and vent the gas directly to the exterior via a piping system equipped with an exhaust fan.

On July 26, 2009, The Chicago Tribune ran an article summarizing recently proposed regulations to deal with such gases.  Please click here to read the article.

Yarmus Engineering, P.C. is available toprovide environmental consulting services to its clients including Phase I investigations, air sampling, radon testing, etc.  Please contact our office if we can be assistance to you or your clients. 

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