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EPA National News: World Trade Center Indoor Air Quality Sampling Proposal Circulated U.S. EPA Seeks Public Comment
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World Trade Center Indoor Air Quality Sampling Proposal Circulated U.S. EPA Seeks Public Comment

Michael Brown 202-236-4735 / brown.michael@epa.gov


(Washington, D.C., October 21, 2004) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released for public comment a draft sampling plan for lower Manhattan to determine if the area has contaminants from the collapsed towers at levels of concern. The panel has met seven times since March primarily to address the development of a design for a sampling program to determine the geographic extent of WTC impacts to the indoor environment.

Dr. Paul Gilman, EPA science advisor and chairman of the panel, said, "EPA is working to assure the health and well-being of those who live and work in and around lower Manhattan. Samples of dust from residences, schools, offices, public buildings and commercial spaces will provide us with hard data. We'll analyze the data and determine if the chemicals found in this urban environment are at levels of concern." Gilman added, "At this point, we're eager to hear feedback on the draft sampling plan from citizens, residents, workers, building managersanyone with an interest."

The draft sampling plan was published today in the Federal Register, marking the beginning of a public comment period that ends on Nov. 19, 2004. EPA will consider the public comment submissions in revising the sampling plan. The draft plan is available on the panel's Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/wtc/panel ; the final plan will be posted there as well.

The public may submit comments electronically, by mail, by facsimile or by hand delivery or courier. Written comments can be mailed or delivered to the Office of Environmental Information Docket, EPA Docket Center, EPA West Building, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20460. Fax copies should be sent to 202-566-1744. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, include the docket identification number, ORD-2004-0003, on all written or electronic submissions.

Electronic comments can be submitted through the official public docket established for the draft sampling plan. To submit or view public comments in EPA's electronic docket system, to access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to view those documents in the public docket that are available electronically, go to: http://www.epa.gov/edocket/ . Once in the system, select "search," then key in the appropriate docket identification number.

Hard copies of the draft sampling plan are available on request by calling 1-800-803-2833. The public can also review the docket at the EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room at the above address. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is 202-566-1744, and the telephone number for the OEI Docket is 202-566-1752.

For additional information, such as an overview of the scope of work, background documents and data under review by the panel, written comments submitted by the public, meeting notes, future meeting dates and the panel's operating principles, go to: http://www.epa.gov/wtc/panel .

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