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Disturbing Trend: Willfully Violating EPA/OSHA Asbestos Rules

EPA/OSHA Asbestos Violations Result in Big Fines

In a disturbing trend that continues to turn up across the U.S., construction, demolition and hauling contractors have been willfully violating asbestos abatement, hauling and disposal safety standards. A recap of some of the most recent violations demonstrates a lack of concern for the health consequences and diseases that can stem from asbestos exposure.

Owner of E&D Environmental Safety Training Indicted for Issuing Asbestos Removal Licenses Without Proper Training

October 21, 2009
A San Francisco federal grand jury indicted Rogelio (aka Roger) Lowe, owner of E&D Environmental Safety Training, on two counts of mail fraud and nine counts of making or using a false document or writing. Lowe is charged with engaging in a scheme to defraud in connection with issuing certificates to asbestos removal workers despite knowing he had not provided them with proper training.

EPA Fines Boise Asbestos Abatement Company

October 1, 2009
The EPA fined Precision Demolition and Abatement, LLC, of Boise, Idaho, $36,000 for failing to properly handle asbestos during a building renovation in 2008. A site inspection by the EPA found several violations, most notably failing to keep asbestos wet and preventing visible emissions to the outside air.

Owner of Tennessee Salvage and Demolition Company Pleads Guilty to Environment Crimes

September 30, 2009
The owner of the Chattanooga, Tennessee based Watkins Street Project, LLC, plead guilty to charges of conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act and defraud the U.S. Business owner Gary Fillers plead guilty to conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act's "work practice standards" related to the proper stripping, bagging, removal and disposal of asbestos containing materials. Fillers faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Washington's Able Contractors, Inc., Fined by Oregon DEQ for Asbestos Violations

September 29, 2009
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued Washington-based Able Contractor's Inc., penalties of $30,409 for DEQ violations in related to an asbestos abatement project in Newberg, Oregon. Able Contractors, licensed in asbestos abatement since 1999, has been penalized for asbestos violations three times since 2001.

Truck Broker Pleads Guilty for Illegal Dumping of 60 Million Pounds of Asbestos Debris

September 25, 2009
New Jersey trucking service broker John Deck faces up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for obtaining a false state permit allowing the dumping of asbestos. Deck's company contracted private haulers to dump 60 million pounds of asbestos containing debris to a former dairy farm that had been passed off as a legitimate dumping facility. The EPA has designated the illegal dumping grounds as a Superfund site, which could cost taxpayers millions to clean up.

Baton Rouge Companies Fined by OSHA for Asbestos Violations

July 30, 2009
OSHA cited three Baton Rouge based companies, Louisiana Health Care Consultants LLC, Dean Building Holdings and Bob Dean Enterprises, for three alleged willful and 10 alleged serious violations of federal health and safety regulations. The proposed fines for all violations totaled $112,000. Included in the list of violations were multiple accounts of worker exposure due to lack of safety equipment.

While the number of cited violations is alarming, it may only represent a small number of the willful violations as many may go unreported. In the end, improperly prepared workers and the unsuspecting public are unfairly exposed to asbestos and ultimately develop asbestos diseases like mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer.

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