N.Y./N.J. Port Authority Sued

A group of family members of victims killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York filed suit against the Port Authority on June 30 in an effort to make that entity subject to New York building and fire codes. The group, called the Skyscraper Safety Campaign, argues that allowing public oversight of the authority would prevent structural problems at the site of the new World Trade Center.

07/01/2003


A group of family members of victims killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York filed suit against the Port Authority on June 30 in an effort to make that entity subject to New York building and fire codes.

The group, called the Skyscraper Safety Campaign, argues that allowing public oversight of the authority would prevent structural problems at the site of the new World Trade Center. It also wants to ensure that the new WTC is built under New York jurisdiction.

"No building should be above the law," said Sally Regenhard, chairwoman of the group. "When the Port Authority acts as a commercial landlord, it should be held to the same standard as private landlords." Regenhard's son, a firefighter, died at the WTC towers when they collapsed.

The Authority is a bi-state organization (New York and New Jersey), and as such, claims to be immune from local laws since it doesn't fall under one jurisdiction. However, the agency stated it voluntarily adhered to city codes when constructing the original WTC and intends to do so when rebuilding the site, as well.

Greg Trevor, spokesman for the Port Authority, expressed regret that discussions had broken down between the Authority and the Skyscraper Safety Campaign. "We are saddened and disappointed that they have decided to break off discussions because we share the same goals, to ensure that the buildings at the World Trade Center site meet and exceed building and fire codes, and to make them a national model for safety and security," he said.

Other groups and individuals, including the Uniformed Fire Officers Assoc., the TriBeCa Community Assoc., and Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), have joined with the Skyscraper Safety Campaign in suing the Port Authority.





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