Tenants and residents waiting to return to their homes and businesses near 41st and Lexington will have to wait until Consolidated Edison devises a plan to remove asbestos from the crater caused by last week’s steam pipe explosion.
According to an article in the New York Times, before crews can make underground repairs, Consolidated Edison officials first must present a plan to the city’s Department of Environmental Protection for removing toxic asbestos from the hole, said Andrew Troisi, a spokesman for the city’s Office of Emergency Management.
Yesterday was the first day that crews from Con Edison and other utilities, like Verizon Communications, made their way into the crater to assess the damage. They were accompanied by representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency. Besides asbestos, they located a leaking water main.
Until the asbestos is removed, Con Ed will be unable to restore steam to at least five buildings around the explosion site near Grand Central Terminal. The businesses use steam to power their heating and air conditioning systems. In the meantime, business tenants were losing both patience and dollars as they were unable to retrieve important papers, computers, and other tools necessary to continue with business as usual.