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Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

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1/22/2013 11:38:00 AM
Navajo president signs resolution declaring health emergency for Administration Building Two
Navajo-Hopi Observer


Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly signed a resolution Jan. 7 declaring a public health state of emergency for Administration Building Two because of fungi found in the building.

The remediation and renovation is expected to cost about $12 million, which includes renovation costs for Administration Building One. Officials closed Administration Building One in Sept. 2010 after mold was discovered.

According to a report from EnviroScience Consulting Inc., Administration Building Two has water damage and fungal spores. The report recommends the roof, the structure and electrical system all be inspected since the building is about 30 years old.

The report also recommends that the HVAC system be replaced.

The process will take about six months.

"We need to ensure the health of our Navajo Nation employees is secured. Once it was reported that conditions in Administration Building Two had mold, we formulated a plan for our employees to temporarily relocate so the building can be remediated and renovated," Shelly said.

The Navajo Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NOSHA) ordered the building closed on Dec. 27. Officials finalized plans during a Jan. 4 meeting to move more than 12 programs and about 200 workers to different office buildings in the Window Rock area.

The declaration states that the Navajo Nation needs to provide resources to protect the health, safety and welfare of Navajo citizens regarding Administration Building Two.

Employees are asked to follow proper procedures when taking items from the building to reduce the risk of cross contamination.

"We need to reduce the risk as much as possible. The key people that would be affected by this would be immunocompromised persons and those with respiratory illnesses," said Department of Emergency Management Director Rose Whitehair.


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