FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION ENHANCING BUILDINGS DEPARTMENT'S ABILITY TO PROTECT CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND THE PUBLIC FROM UNSAFE STRUCTURES
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The first three of five bills before me today greatly enhance the Buildings Department's ability to protect construction workers and the public at large from unsafe structures and makes further gains in our broader effort to reform the Department and strengthen oversight and enforcement of the construction industry. We detailed our strategy for doing that during our June 4th construction site safety announcement with Speaker Quinn and industry leaders.
"Introductory Number 687-A, sponsored by Council Members Mark-Viverito, Brewer, Fidler, James, Koppell, Martinez, Sanders, Weprin, Mendez, Gerson, Liu, Sears, Jackson, Dickens, White, Gonzalez, Lappin, Como, Eugene and Garodnick requires buildings that are or are at risk of being structurally compromised to undergo periodic inspections.
"Owners of buildings that have suffered fire damage, have an open roof for more then sixty days, have been shored or braced or otherwise repaired at the direction of the Department or the courts, will be required to perform periodic inspections and file reports with the Department. Permits will not be issued until an inspection is completed and failure to file a report will result in a minimum penalty of two thousand dollars.
"Introductory Number 763-A, sponsored by Council Members Palma, Gentile, James, Gerson, Jackson, Sears, Gonzalez, Garodnick, Liu, Weprin and the Public Advocate, Betsy Gotbaum adds certain housekeeping violations to the list of violations that are considered immediately hazardous and therefore subject to higher penalties. This legislation will categorize violations such as not properly securing materials on the upper floors of a building and storing materials on the floor near the buildings edge as immediately hazardous which will result in a minimum fine of $1,000.
"Introductory Number 793-A, sponsored in conjunction with the Administration by Council Members Jackson, Comrie, Gentile, James, Koppell, Nelson, Palma, Seabrook, Stewart, Weprin, Gerson, Dickens, White, Lappin, Como, Garodnick, Liu and Sears and requires an inspection every five years for retaining walls ten feet or higher that front public streets. A design professional hired by the owner will file a report with the Department that certifies the condition of the retaining wall. Unsafe retaining walls will be repaired immediately with the design professional filing a report with the Department within two weeks of performing the work certifying that the condition has been corrected.
"I would like to thank Acting Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri and his staff for their work on these three bills. I would also like to thank the Council for approving this legislation."
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine