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NIST Seeks Stakeholder Input on World Trade Center Investigation

Public Meeting to be Held in NYC, June 24th

New York, Jun 20, 2002

The National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST), a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce and an ANSI member, announced that it will hold a public meeting on Monday, June 24, 2002 in New York City to seek stakeholder input on the proposed scope of its upcoming building and fire safety investigation of the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster.

Dr. Jack E. Snell, director of NIST's Building and Fire Research Laboratory, will lead the discussion and outline the purpose for the event: "This meeting is part of our efforts to get the public's view of our investigation plan, and to make sure that it is complete and on track. Our real desire is to derive lessons that we can learn about the way in which buildings are designed, built and used, and then to help ensure that these lessons are put into practice."

The meeting agenda includes an overview of NIST's $16 M, multi-year National Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the WTC Disaster followed by a series of pubic comment sessions for registered speakers as well as non-registered attendees. Slated to present their perspective on NIST's plan are representatives from diverse industries including building and fire safety, transportation, construction, engineering, steel and cement, in addition to personnel from academic institutions, consulting groups and concerned citizens. Representatives from ANSI membership organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Institute of Steel Construction and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will also deliver comments.

The goal of the investigation is to study the building construction, materials used and technical conditions that contributed to the collapse of the WTC. The findings will serve as the basis for improvements in the way buildings are designed, constructed, maintained and used as well as recommendations for revisions to building codes, standards and practices that will enhance pubic safety.

NIST will establish an inquiry team composed of private- and public-sector technical experts culled from academia and industry practice. The agency will use the data collected and recommendations contained in the WTC Building Performance Study conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and ASCE as the basis of its inquiry. [Editor's note: For additional information on the FEMA/ASCE study, please refer to the ANSI Online News story, "ANSI Founding Member Drafts Findings on World Trade Center Collapse." For a free copy of the final report, please call the FEMA Warehouse at (t) 800.480.2520 or download a copy in portable document format (.pdf) from the House Committee on Science website:]

Open to the public upon presentation of a photo ID, the meeting will be held at Marriott New York East Side Hotel, located at 525 Lexington Avenue, New York City, from 8:00 AM to 4:15 PM. For those who cannot attend, a live, audio webcast will be available from the NIST homepage at, starting at 8:00 AM, June 24th. Written public comments will also be accepted (e-mail:, fax: 301-975-6122), preferably before June 30, 2002. The refined plan will be made available for public comment before it is adopted as final.

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