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January 16, 2013

Asbestos help part of 'Common Sense' law

(Continued)

TOO COSTLY TO RAZE 

Owens first brought the issue up in 2011 when the former Tavern Arms, also known as Nikki’s Place, collapsed in on itself in downtown Malone.

No one was hurt, but traffic on Route 11 was rerouted for several hours.

The village wanted to raze the structure but could not afford to do so “because of costs and regulations associated with demolishing a building that contains asbestos,” Owens said.

He contacted the EPA, which offered no funding. And it refused to waive its regulations to allow the crumbling building to be brought down and removed safely.

Nikki’s fell down within a few hours, which cleared the way for the EPA to assist with the cleanup.

“Current regulations say if a town or village can’t afford to demolish a building that contains asbestos, their only course of action is to let it fall down,” Owens said.

“That means higher costs and greater risk to public safety, which simply doesn’t make sense,” he said.

“This legislation gives EPA the flexibility to make a decision based upon the merits of each individual case where appropriate,” the congressman said.

ISSUE IN WAVERLY

The Town of Waverly has also been trying in vain to rid the community of the former St. Regis Falls Central School building, which was condemned a number of years ago, and the town and village of Malone are working on an application for Brownfield money to take down a few of the buildings it has flagged for demolition.

Email Denise A. Raymo:

draymo@pressrepublican.com

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