Verizon Resolves New York AG’s Claims Over Alleged Cooling Tower Violations

  • New York AG Letitia James reached a settlement with Verizon New York, Inc. to resolve allegations that Verizon failed to maintain its cooling towers in compliance with state and New York City laws and regulations.
  • Cooling towers are mechanical systems on top of buildings that are used to cool industrial processes, indoor air, or energy production. Because they use warm water and emit a mist, public health experts consider them a major source of Legionnaire’s Disease exposure.
  • According to the AG’s office, its investigation found at least 225 alleged violations at 45 of Verizon’s 75 cooling towers in New York, including failures to test water samples for bacteria, to properly take corrective action following positive test results, and to complete cleaning, disinfection, and inspection of cooling towers.
  • Under the terms of the assurance of discontinuance, Verizon will update its maintenance policies and procedures to increase accountability and tracking, and pay a monetary penalty of $118,000 to the AG’s Office that will be used to address the health impacts of air pollution.