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The Investigation of the World Trade Center Collapse

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 12:00am
Washington, D.C.
Findings, Recommendations and Next Steps

Opening Statement By Hon. Brad Miller

I want to join Chairman Boehlert in welcoming everyone to this morning’s hearing.

On the surface, today’s hearing topic may sound dry and technical.  However, what we’re really talking about is saving lives.  The sole purpose of the National Construction Safety Team Act is to save lives by investigating and understanding building collapses and then improve building codes, emergency response and evacuation procedures.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) World Trade Center (WTC) investigation and recommendations are the first case of implementation of the Act.  The NIST report is a good first step, but much work remains to be done.  We need to know what is required to translate the NIST recommendations into improved building codes, and emergency response and evacuation procedures.  It is these changes that will improve public safety; otherwise, we will have nothing more than another government report sitting on a shelf.  This will also require continued oversight by the Science Committee as the process moves forward.

I’d also encourage the witnesses to give us their assessment of what NIST has done during the past two years and what they feel could be improved.  I also want to mention that I’m not only interested in this subject from a Science Committee perspective, but also how it relates to Terrorism Risk Insurance from my work on the Financial Services Committee.

Now I would like to yield the balance of my time to a former Member of the Science Committee, Anthony Weiner.  Rep. Weiner not only has a parochial interest in the NIST’s WTC investigation, but he was a co-author, with Chairman Boehlert, of the National Construction Safety Team Act.

Download the opening statement text.


Panel 1

1 - Sally Regenhard
Skyscraper Safety Campaign Skyscraper Safety Campaign
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Panel 2

1 - Dr. William Jeffrey
Director National Institute of Standards and Technology National Institute of Standards and Technology
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2 - Nancy McNabb
Director of Government Affairs National Fire Protection Association National Fire Protection Association
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3 - Dr. James Harris
American Society of Civil Engineers American Society of Civil Engineers
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4 - Glenn Corbett
Assistant Professor, Fire Science John Jay College of Criminal Justice John Jay College of Criminal Justice
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5 - Henry Green
President International Code Council International Code Council
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Panel 1

Sally Regenhard picture

Sally Regenhard

Panel 2

Panel 2 witnesses at October 26 hearing
  • Dr. William Jeffrey
  • Nancy McNabb
  • Dr. James Harris
  • Glenn Corbett
  • Henry Green

Link to Government Printing Office PDF file Link to text version Link to text version with speaker index
Serial 109-28
109th Congress