RJ Lee Group CEO Remembers 9/11 Project as Massive Undertaking


The Pittsburgh Business Times interviewed Dr. Richard J. Lee, CEO of RJ Lee Group, Inc. industrial forensics laboratory that conducted environmental assessments of buildings at the site of the World Trade Center event. “When you looked at that cloud that morning, you didn’t really think of that as anything more than dust and smoke,” Dr. Lee said. “You really didn’t comprehend that it was asbestos and lead and dioxins, PCBs and arsenic and mercury.” In April 2002, the company, headquartered in Monroeville, PA, began work to evaluate the dust in a number of buildings in lower Manhattan including the Deutsch Bank building, a 42-story office tower damaged by falling debris. In a three-year period, they collected more than 100,000 samples of dust and identified a chemical signature that was later used in civil litigation and remediation programs of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This WTC dust signature helped building owners and local and federal government understand how to move forward in clearing and repairing the damage. Dr. Lee said the firm’s work in the aftermath of the attacks has had a major impact, both good and bad. He still sees traces of exhaustion from the project in his staff today.

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