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Deadline to Sign Up for EPA Lower Manhattan Cleaning and Testing Program Draws Near

Release Date: 12/20/2002
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(02134) New York, New York -- The December 28th deadline for lower Manhattan residents to sign up for EPA's cleaning and testing program is drawing near, with about 6,500 residents currently registered to participate in the program. Any resident interested in signing up for participating in the program can sign up until midnight Saturday, December 28 either via the web at www.epa.gov/wtc or by calling EPA's World Trade Center dust cleanup hotline at 1-877-796-5471.

"Our cleanup program is designed to reassure residents that they have reduced the risk from exposure to dust left over from the collapse of the World Trade Center," said Jane Kenny, EPA Regional Administrator. "Now is the time to call the hotline to sign up."

Under EPA's World Trade Center dust cleanup program for lower Manhattan, residents living south of Canal, Allen and Pike Streets can register to have their homes professionally cleaned and tested for asbestos in air or may choose to just have their homes tested. Asbestos is one of the contaminants known to have been released as a result of the attack on the World Trade Center. EPA began operating a hotline to sign up for the cleaning and testing program on June 3. The deadline had been extended twice to allow residents more time to sign up.

To date, the Agency has validated results for more than 250 homes that were tested and about 800 homes that were cleaned and tested. Test results are compared to a "clearance level" of asbestos in air. The clearance level is based upon calculations that one person out of 10,000 people exposed to the level constantly 24 hours a day/seven days a week for a thirty-year period would have an elevated risk of cancer. Of the nearly 1,100 homes with validated results, 10 homes, four that have been just tested and six that were cleaned and then tested showed levels of asbestos above this level. EPA is working directly with the residents in these cases to either clean or re-clean the homes and then test them again.