Press Release Article


Date: Apr 01, 2009
Press Release Number: 42-2009

Meeting its commitment to enhance public transparency, the Port Authority today posted on its Web site - - the assessment records and conformance status for all of the agency's facilities in New York and New Jersey.

The records, which will be updated annually, cover all Port Authority facilities, including all of the agency's airports, bridges, tunnels and terminals, port and PATH facilities, and Port Authority-controlled World Trade Center buildings.

The Port Authority has a longstanding policy to meet or exceed all local building and fire codes, including those in New York City.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "Today's release meets our foremost commitments to public safety and transparency. We are pleased to join forces with Borough President Stringer in this effort."

We're committed to providing safe and secure facilities for the public, and today we're taking an important step forward to show the public what we've done and what we plan to do moving forward."

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, "We've worked diligently with New York City building and fire officials to make sure our buildings are safe, secure and in conformance with all local building and fire codes. Today's action will allow the public to see what we've done so they can track our progress and judge for itself."

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, in whose office the transparency initiative was announced in January, said, "I want to commend the Port Authority for its leadership on this issue. Now it's time for other property owners exempted from city safety codes to follow the Port Authority's lead. Code exemptions for regional authorities and federal and foreign buildings create a patchwork of regulation that is confusing and dangerous, putting first responders and the public at risk. The Port Authority's work is a roadmap for fixing this problem and saving lives."

The Port Authority - a bistate agency created in 1921 by the states of New York and New Jersey - is one of many federal and state agencies in both states that is not legally bound by local building codes. However, over the years, the agency has reached agreements with New York City to meet or exceed its building and fire codes. Similar exemptions apply to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, federal buildings such as U.S. courthouses, and foreign embassies and consulates, including the United Nations headquarters.

The report provides a detailed overview of the Port Authority's policy and process with an interactive facility map that allows users to see assessment schedules for each facility, a survey of the construction projects completed by the agency using its code conformance process and a complete inventory of each facility's component parts that are subject to code conformance, such as fa├žade, boilers, refrigeration systems and elevators.

During a project's design phase, the Port Authority's Quality Assurance Division reviews all design drawings for adherence to local code. The division interacts with the New York City Department of Buildings on code interpretation issues, and has received written concurrence on major projects.

During the construction phase, the Port Authority's Quality Assurance Division interacts with the agency's Construction Management Division to ensure code compliance. The agency's Chief Engineer will not issue a Certificate of Occupancy until it can be verified that all code issues have been resolved.

Following a building's construction, Port Authority engineers perform regular assessments of each facility and provide repair recommendations if warranted, which are addressed as quickly as possible.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Port Authority Auto Marine Terminal; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Greenville Yard-Port Authority Marine Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan and is a partner in the Access to the Region's Core tunnel project.

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