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Verizon, NYAG Reach Agreement Related To Cooling Tower Investigation

Verizon has reached an agreement with New York Attorney General Letitia James, which settles allegations that the company failed to properly monitor building cooling towers.

James said the agreement will ensure that the company takes swift and comprehensive action to prevent the spread of Legionnaires' disease in New York state. Legionnaires' disease is often deadly and can be spread by poorly monitored or operated building cooling towers.

The AG said that an investigation by her office revealed that there were at least 225 alleged violations of city and state laws at 45 of Verizon's cooling tower locations throughout the state, with the company failing to conduct testing, address positive test results, and clean and inspect the cooling towers by required deadlines.

As part of the agreement, Verizon will adopt official policies and procedures to ensure full, ongoing compliance with the law and pay a $118,000 penalty for the violations, which will be used by OAG to address the health impacts of air pollution.

"Legionnaires' disease remains a deadly presence in areas across our state, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color," said Attorney General James. "It is essential that companies such as Verizon are taking the necessary actions to avoid the spread of this preventable and lethal disease. This agreement will protect New Yorkers' public health and slow the spread of Legionnaires' disease."

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