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Niagara Falls courthouse to close Wednesday for cleanup from asbestos scare

A Niagara County courthouse in Niagara Falls was abruptly closed Tuesday after a private contractor doing a construction project inside the building on the first floor noticed "particulate matter" had become dislodged, according to Christian W. Peck, a spokesman for Niagara County.

The particulate was tested but the initial results were inconclusive, Peck said. Out of an abundance of caution, officials decided to shut down the building.

Although a sign on the door to the building said, "Danger Asbestos," Peck said that later tests on the material indicated it was less than 1 percent asbestos. Most of it was nonhazardous vermiculite, he said.

However, the building will be closed Wednesday for a cleanup. All court cases scheduled there Wednesday will be handled at Niagara Falls City Court, 1925 Main St., court system spokesman Andrew B. Isenberg said.

The material was released when a contractor removed an old vault door on the first floor of the three-story building, which houses Niagara County Family Court and State Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, some court proceedings were moved to Niagara Falls City Court and other court matters were canceled.

"All jurors report to Niagara Falls City Court," court officials said in a statement. "All Family Court matters before Hon. Wojtaszek-Gariano and Kimberly Phelan will be heard at Niagara Falls City Court. All other cases are cancelled today July 18, 2017."


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