Last week, Mayor de Blasio admitted the city didn’t know the locations of cooling towers, nor did it inspect them. He promised by week’s end to draft legislation to make building owners register the towers and have the city begin inspecting all of them.
By Saturday the legislation was still being drafted, and no one could say how many more inspectors will be needed to take on the new task. The law is expected to be introduced on Wednesday.
“New York City is the first city to propose standards for cooling tower inspections. Our inspectors’ job is to protect the public's health, and if charged with cooling tower inspections, they will ensure that property owners comply with the law and disinfect their cooling towers regularly. This is an important step we can take to further protect the health of New Yorkers, and it shows we are leading the way in preventing Legionnaires',” said Health Department spokesman Levi Fishman.
Already inspectors have their hands full. In fiscal year 2015, which ended last month, they opened more than 37,000 cases that wound up before the city Office of Administrative Trials & Hearings for a litany of violations.