Rebuilding in 2004
by Joshua Brustein
January 5, 2004
Critics of the process have looked to other levels of government to step in. At the urging of the Coalition of 9/11 Families, which rejected all of the finalist designs because they built on top of the "footprints" of the original Twin Towers, a bill has been introduced into the House of Representatives that would sponsor a National Park Service study of the site to determine whether they warrant historic landmark status. Without a sponsor in the Senate - both New York Senators have declined to introduce it - the bill's supporters admit that they will have trouble getting the bill passed.
On the state level, a New York assemblyman announced last week that he will introduce a bill requiring the Port Authority to return ashes gathered after 9/11 to Ground Zero. Such ashes contain unidentified human remains, and some family members of victims want to have these remains buried on the site instead of at Fresh Kills landfill, where they are now. The announcement gave a push to an effort that has gained momentum in New Jersey, where a similar law was recently passed. Without a New York State bill, the New Jersey bill is only a symbolic gesture, because the Port Authority is jointly controlled by both states.
Critics of these efforts, including the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, have said that the passage of either the federal or the state bill would derail the entire rebuilding process.