Asbestos Removal Work Set to Begin in Rayburn Building

Contamination has long been an issue in building

A dictionary in the Rayburn Press Room. The room is slated to close later this year and remodeled into a congressional office. Other parts of the building will close later this week for asbestos removal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Portions of the Rayburn House Office Building will be off-limits starting Friday as asbestos abatement work begins on three rooms on the ground floor.

Air monitoring will be conducted on a daily basis while work is underway in rooms 2070 to 2072, according to a letter posted outside the Rayburn cafeteria.

Signed by the Architect of the Capitol’s superintendent of House office buildings,  William M. Weidemyer, the letter says building occupants will not need to take any extra action or precaution.

Asbestos is a known issue in Rayburn and other House office buildings. Contamination has been tackled piecemeal over the years and has caused scares for staff and AOC workers. A room designated for media use on the first floor will undergo abatement and construction starting in 2019

The advisory was posted to meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards of making building occupants aware of the asbestos work. A timeline for when the rooms would be asbestos-free and ready for use again was not included in the posted letter.

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