The City of Port St. Lucie, Florida will not charge construction permit fees to property owners for the removal of tainted Chinese drywall and affected equipment such as air conditioning units, plumbing and electrical wiring.

The usual fees for such permits are $300 for drywall removal and $75 for each equipment removal. But the city has decided to waive the permit fees to try to help local homeowners affected by tainted Chinese drywall, which emits high levels of sulfur and can cause health problems and corrode metals in the home.

The city is also handing out instructions for preserving evidence of Chinese drywall for cases filed in federal court.

A protocol for the removal of the drywall is still being developed. It is estimated that as many as 36,000 homes in Florida have toxic Chinese drywall.

Port St. Lucie’s building official is also concerned about the health of the workers who installed the Chinese drywall.

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