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Ensuring Safety: Bronx Retaining Walls to Undergo Mandatory Inspections by 2024 End

Property owners and managers in the Bronx are required to conduct inspections on their retaining walls and submit a detailed report by December 31, 2024, as mandated by New York City's Local Law 37 of 2008. Failure to comply with this regulation may result in fines and civil penalties. Although Local Law 37/08 has largely remained unnoticed since its enactment in 2014, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) has intensified its enforcement efforts, issuing violations to properties that have failed to adhere to the filing requirements.

Local Law 37 of 2008, in conjunction with Rule 103-09 effective since January 1, 2014, stipulates that properties with retaining walls standing at 10 feet or higher and facing a public right-of-way must undergo inspection by a Qualified Retaining Wall Inspector (QRWI). The inspection report must be filed every five years, with filing deadlines varying by borough. The second cycle of filings commenced in 2024.

Similar to the Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP), retaining wall inspection reports must categorize the wall's condition as Safe, Safe with minor repair and maintenance, Safe with repairs and/or engineer monitoring, or Unsafe. Any identified deficiencies must be addressed, with repair plans required for walls deemed as needing repairs or engineering monitoring, or those labeled as Unsafe.

Failure to submit the required reports may lead to civil penalties amounting to $1,000 per year, plus an additional $250 per month until compliance is achieved. Furthermore, failure to rectify unsafe conditions may incur fines of $1,000 per month until resolved.



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