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Warning Letter

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Tuesday released a letter she sent to acting Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers asking about a range of issues involving working conditions in the Capitol complex’s underground tunnels. [IMGCAP(1)]

Murray, chairwoman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee on employment and workplace safety, specifically asked what the Architect’s office has done to decrease the level of asbestos in the tunnels, provide proper training to workers and help the workers seek medical treatment.

Murray chaired a recent subcommittee hearing that addressed banning asbestos. Tunnel supervisor John Thayer testified at the hearing that the Architect has done little to correct the problem, causing the workers great physical harm.

“The defensive posture of your office and its seeming indifference to address the issues raised by the Office of Compliance a year ago has not served anyone well — most importantly the innocent tunnel workers,” Murray wrote.

— Elizabeth Brotherton

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