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Work begins again at Kensington Heights

Work has resumed at the asbestos-laden Kensington Heights apartment complex on Buffalo's East Side.

The project involves abatement and demolition of two of the high-rises at the site, which has been vacant since 1980. The remaining four buildings will be enclosed to contain the asbestos inside the towers.

A community meeting later this month will address how the neighborhood will be affected, according to the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, which owns the site.

In July, Aria Contracting Corp. -- the company hired by BMHA to do the work -- will begin demolishing the two buildings. It should finish by Oct. 31.

The entire project is in compliance with a plan approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the state Department of Labor and the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority, said Modesto Candelario, BMHA's assistant executive director.

The approvals came after the EPA halted work at the site last summer, charging the authority with violating the federal Clean Air Act because the potentially hazardous substance was being improperly removed.

A 23-count federal indictment charged two contractors and nine individuals involved in the asbestos removal.