Nassau removes asbestos from Coliseum areas

An exterior view of the Nassau Coliseum is

An exterior view of the Nassau Coliseum is seen prior to the New York Islanders Blue and White Game at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale. (July 16, 2011) (Credit: Getty Images)

Nassau County is removing asbestos from several nonpublic areas of the Coliseum and officials are seeking an engineering firm to determine what may need to be done in other areas, county officials said.

County Attorney John Ciampoli said areas where work began recently include a loading dock and a machine room. He said the "air in the public areas has been tested and is safe."

Ciampoli did not have a cost estimate for the project but said the work would be paid primarily from capital improvement funds. Chief Deputy County Executive Rob Walker, who also did not have a cost estimate for the project, said abatement work has been going on for several weeks.

In March, the state Department of Labor and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration began investigations that sparked remediation at some Coliseum areas. Neither agency could be reached for comment Monday.

"After state and federal investigations, the county has not received any reports indicating a threat to air quality in public areas," county Public Works commissioner Shila Shah-Gavnoudias said.

"We did extensive renovation in many parts of the Coliseum," Walker said. "We submitted a work plan to the state and they approved it."

Ciampoli said 81 Coliseum workers have filed notices of claim for asbestos injuries, "and that number could reach a couple of hundred."

-- Sid Cassese

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