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Pro-Bono Construction Work Results in Asbestos Violations

It's not often that a kind-hearted gesture results in a public health hazard. In recent months, the Cottrellville Township and two companies have been cited by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for failing to get a state-certified asbestos inspection.

The violation occurred during work to demolish twelve cabins and one home in the township. The project was being done pro bono, meaning no payment was received for the work performed.

An environmental quality analyst for the DEQ discovered floor tiles that tested positive for asbestos during a visit to the site. None of the samples were friable, meaning they did not break down easily, so there was no violation of the Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.

The analyst stated that "that site should have had an asbestos inspection." She also said "...sometimes [smaller communities are] just not aware of the violations." The community is cooperating with the investigation and has agreed to treat all debris as asbestos, and have it properly disposed of. They have asked to have any fine for violations waived, as the work "...was strictly done as a good will gesture."

What do you think? Should the Michigan community and companies be fined for their negligence? Share you thoughts in a comment below.


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