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After being snubbed by NYC, attorneys plan to sue for documents on 9/11 toxins

Thomas Tracy, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

NEW YORK — Attorneys for 9/11 survivors plan to take New York City to court to obtain pivotal data on the toxins that hovered over lower Manhattan following the terror attacks — now that their requests for the information have been repeatedly denied, the Daily News has learned.

Several lead city agencies in the city’s investigation of ground zero air quality have denied attorneys Andrew Carboy and Matthew McCauley’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for the information.

The NYC Emergency Management and the Environmental Protection Department have also denied FOIL appeals for the information.

“By refusing to release documents that should be freely available in any functioning democracy, the city is inviting legal action,” Carboy said Friday. “We will seek full judicial scrutiny of the city’s ‘reasons’ for not responding.”

Benjamin Chavet, director of 9/11 Health Watch, took a stronger tone over the repeated FOIL denials.

“This is starting to look like a coverup.” Chevat said. “What’s unclear is why the current administration doesn’t want to answer the question about what did Mayor (Rudy) Giuliani’s administration know and when did they know it.”

 

The Adams administration has made it clear they do not plan to release any documents until it determines if releasing the information will get the city sued.

“We are aware of requests to produce city documents on the aftermath of the attacks, which would require extensive legal review to identify privileged material and liability risk, and are exploring ways to determine the cost of such a review,” a mayoral spokeswoman said in February.

The city did not return a request for comment about Carboy’s plan to now sue the city.

“The city is now reaping what it sowed,” Carboy said as he prepares to go to court. “These documents belong in a public archive, open to all, not in the locked files of bureaucracy.”

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