Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Posts in "AOC"

November 9, 2015

Alarm Prompts Evacuation of Capitol Power Plant


The Capitol Power Plant heats and cools the Capitol complex. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Capitol Power Plant heats and cools the Capitol complex. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Capitol Power plant was evacuated Monday morning due to an audible alarm in the boiler room, though police said there was no fire.

The Capitol Police command center informed CQ Roll Call that an alarm prompted the evacuation, though there was no fire in the room and everything appeared to be alright. The officer did not have more information and didn’t say what prompted the alarm. Full story

November 5, 2015

Hill Makes Pitch for Protected Bike Lanes


(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The commute could get a little easier for cyclists who trek between Union Station and Capitol Hill, if Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers and local transportation officials can agree.

Support for a protected bike lane on Louisiana Avenue has grown steadily in recent months, with the Congressional Bike Caucus and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen backing the plan. On Wednesday, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., added her voice to the chorus. Full story

November 2, 2015

Cannon Asbestos Scare Raises Safety Questions


A portion of the Cannon basement is closed for construction. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A portion of the Cannon basement is closed for construction. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

An asbestos scare in the Cannon House Office Building over the weekend has raised questions about workplace safety, as construction and renovation of the century-old structure continues.

Cannon was closed after work on Oct. 30 and for most of Oct. 31 as engineers and industrial hygienists investigated a potential asbestos leak during the ongoing Cannon Renewal Project. Though preliminary air samples tested negative for the carcinogen, the Architect of the Capitol’s website indicated late on Oct. 31 that “sample results were well below the regulatory limit for general space occupancy.” Full story

October 30, 2015

Cannon Evacuated for Potential Asbestos Leak


Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers discusses the Cannon House Office Building renewal project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers discusses the Cannon House Office Building renewal project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Cannon House Office Building was evacuated Friday night for a potential asbestos leak, and the building is closed until further notice.

House staff received an emergency alert shortly after 7:30 p.m. to evacuate Cannon for a potential asbestos leak. A spokesperson for the Architect of the Capitol confirmed the potential release of asbestos occurred during construction as part of the Cannon Renewal Project.

“Engineers and certified industrial hygienists are evaluating the scene to determine the appropriate response to this incident,” AOC spokeswoman Kristen Frederick wrote in an email to CQ Roll Call Friday night. “In an abundance of caution, the Cannon Building will be closed until further notice. The Architect of the Capitol continues to investigate and will provide updates when available.”

Frederick said the AOC will provide updates on its website. She did not respond to a question regarding whether any workers were potentially exposed to asbestos.

Construction on the oldest House office building began last January, and is currently centered on the building’s basement. The nearly $753 million project will take 10 years.

Friday is not the first time an asbestos scare has plagued Capitol construction. In July 2014, an asbestos spill that occurred during asbestos abatement work temporarily closed the House side of the Capitol. After the ordeal, unions representing AOC workers and the Capitol Police expressed concern about workers’ exposure to the human carcinogen.

Capitol Hill Employees Concerned About July 10 Asbestos Exposure

House Side of U.S. Capitol Reopens After Asbestos Spill

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September 4, 2015

GAO Questions Capitol Power Plant Transition


The Capitol Power Plant heats and cools the Capitol complex. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Government Accountability Office report released Thursday calls into question the ongoing project to transition the Capitol power plant from relying partially on coal to completely on natural gas.

The watchdog agency suggested the Architect of the Capitol did not follow leading capital-planning practices in the project, which result in an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars. AOC Stephen T. Ayers disagreed with the report’s claims, arguing that transitioning the power plant is the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. Full story

August 10, 2015

Material in House Chamber Tests Negative for Asbestos


(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The material found in the House chamber that prompted its closing Monday has tested negative for asbestos.

“The [Architect of the Capitol] has completed the investigation of the material found behind the existing wall fabric in the House Chamber. All tests were negative,” House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving said in notice sent late Monday afternoon. Full story

House Chamber Closed as AOC Investigates Unknown Material (Updated)


(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Testing material found in the chamber could take up to eight hours. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:35 p.m. | The House chamber was closed Monday morning after Architect of the Capitol workers discovered a potentially hazardous substance during ongoing restoration work.

Behind wall fabric, workers found an unknown material that is being tested for asbestos. The chamber was closed “in an abundance of caution,” House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving said in a brief memo. Full story

July 30, 2015

Congressional Couches Test Positive for Toxic Retardant


Pallone said he was not surprised some couches tested positive. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pallone said he was not surprised some congressional couches tested positive for toxic flame-retardant chemicals. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Congress considers an overhaul of toxic chemical regulations, a new analysis has brought the issue close to home — perhaps a little too close for comfort.

The Environmental Defense Fund recently analyzed six couches from each of the congressional office buildings and found three contained a toxic flame-retardant chemical known as TDCPP. The chemical can be found on the California Environmental Protection Agency’s list of carcinogens. Full story

July 22, 2015

Capitol Food Workers Bring Income Inequality to Congress’ Front Step


A protester at Wednesday's rally. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Workers called for higher wages and a union. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

For the third time in the past eight months, food-service workers at the Capitol have gone on strike to push for higher wages and union representation, a rare example of a national issue — income inequality — hitting close to home for Congress.

Forty Capitol workers, the highest number so far, joined roughly 650 federal contract workers from across the District of Columbia Wednesday who went on strike and rallied in Upper Senate Park. Full story

June 22, 2015

AOC Details July 4th Concert Security Protocols


(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As lawmakers rush to check items off their legislative to-do list before the Independence Day recess, Capitol administrators are busy preparing for the annual July 4th Concert on the West Lawn.

“A Capitol Fourth,” the live concert broadcast on PBS, is set for Saturday, July 4, at 8 p.m., and the Architect of the Capitol announced Monday that the concert will result in a familiar series of street closures. Full story

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