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Davis, Reberkenny & Abramowitz 499 Cooper Landing Road Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08002 Dear Mr. Horwitz: I am responding to your recent letter requesting that the Department of Justice review the plans for the Hershey Water Treatment Plant and issue an "advisory opinion" that certain areas of the planned facility are exempt from the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that are subject to the Act. Accordingly, this letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA accessibility standards. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a legal interpretation of the application of the statute to the Hershey Water Treatment Plant, and it is not binding on the Department of Justice. We direct your attention to the Americans with Disability Act Accessibility Guidelines (Appendix A to this Department's regulation implementing title III of the ADA). Section 4.1.1(5)(b) provides that: Accessibility is not required . . . in nonoccupiable spaces accessed only by ladders, catwalks, crawl spaces, very narrow passageways, or freight (non-passenger) elevators, and frequented only by service personnel for repair purposes . . . . cc: Records; Chrono' Wodatch; Oneglia; Blizard. :udd:bethea:ada.interpretation.horwitz
-2Spaces that are entered or approached by one of the limited means of access described in this section are not required to comply with the guidelines. In addition, section 4.1.3(5)(Exception 2) provides that elevator access to elevator pits, elevator penthouses, and piping or equipment catwalks is not required. Areas that are not subject to these limited exemptions must comply with the requirements of section 4.1.1(3), which provides that: Areas that are used only as work areas shall be designed and constructed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the areas. These guidelines do not require that any areas used only as work areas be constructed to permit maneuvering within the work area or be constructed or equipped (i.e., with racks or shelves) to be accessible. I hope that this information is helpful to you in advising your clients. Sincerely, John L. Wodatch Director
Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act Civil Rights Division 01-00577
December 20, 1991 John Wodatch, Director Office on the Americans With Disabilities Act Civil Rights Division U. S. Department of Justice Washington, D.C. 20530 Re: Advisory Opinion, Title III, Americans With Disabilities Act
Dear Mr. Wodatch:
I request an advisory opinion concerning accessibility of water treatment plants. For purposes of review, I have enclosed plans of an illustrative plant. The enclosed plans are for the Hershey Water Treatment Plant, prepared by Gannett Fleming Water Resources Engineers, Inc., dated October, 1989, Sheet Nos. CP 4, CP 11 and CP 12. Due to the nature of water treatment plants, pipes and equipment are situated at various locations and heights and in many sizes. The areas reflected in the plans show a typical pipe gallery for a surface water treatment plant. I request an advisory opinion that portions of surface water treatment plants similar to those reflected in the enclosed plans would be exempt from ADA accessibility requirements. I would also request an advisory opinion that other areas in surface water treatment plants that are below grade pipe areas and are frequented only by service personnel similarly be exempted from ADA accessibility requirements. If you require further information, please contact me as soon as possible. Very truly yours, DAVIS, REBERKENNY & ABRAMOWITZ By: Harry A. Horwitz HAH:pm 01-00578