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Mayor Adams won't release 9/11 toxin reports until NYC's liability risk determined

Thomas Tracy, New York Daily News on

Published in Science & Technology News

Mayor Eric Adams won’t be releasing any data about the toxic chemicals floating around Ground Zero after 9/11 until an “extensive legal review” determines the city’s liability risk, the Daily News has learned.

Responding to questions as to why city agencies denied Freedom of Information Law requests for data on what former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani knew about toxic chemicals at Ground Zero in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, an Adams spokesman said a legal review is needed first.

“As a former first responder who worked the site at Ground Zero, Mayor Adams is unwavering in his support of the 9/11 victims, first responders, families and survivors,” a spokeswoman said.

“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.”

Lawyers for 9/11 survivors who put in the FOIL requests were stunned by the city’s decision.

“It is not possible to reconcile the plain language of the Freedom of Information Law and court decisions construing it with the city’s position,” said attorney Andrew Carboy, who filed the FOIL requests with lawyer Matthew McCauley.

 

“Disclosure of the requested records is appropriate and justified without regard to whether the records support a finding of liability against the city and its agencies,” Carboy added.

“The Freedom of Information Law does not shield from disclosure materials that demonstrate the responding government agency’s wrongdoing.”

Carboy and McCauley sent FOIL requests to several city agencies about 9/11 toxins.

Late last month, city Emergency Management and the city Department of Environmental Protection — key city agencies in evaluating air quality after 9/11 — closed the requests, claiming they had no information to give.

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