In May 2015, a union leader complained about the asbestos removal process in the basement of a county-owned building. William Rutland noticed welfare workers removing asbestos without the proper protective gear, a requirement put into place by the state Labor Department's Bureau of Public Employee Safety and Health, or PESH.
Recently, a 42-year-old Long Island man pleaded guilty to dumping tons of contaminated construction debris in four different locations. The debris contained hazardous substances including asbestos and pesticides.
Every day, structures across America are torn down to make room for new and improved buildings. Schools, shopping malls, and business parks are receiving much-needed upgrades, but some are running into unexpected problems, like asbestos.
In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced their final plans to clean up the asbestos within Libby, Montana. Libby is considered an Asbestos Superfund site by the EPA, meaning it is some of the nation's most contaminated land. Asbestos poses a threat to residents living in Libby.
Despite the known hazards, asbestos continues to be handled improperly all over the world. In countries like the United States and Canada, trained and untrained individuals disturb and dispose of materials containing the substance in dangerous and illegal ways, every day.
In Pensacola, Florida, a robot is being used to remove asbestos from the former Pensacola News Journal building before it is demolished. While the robot takes just as much time and money as manually removing the asbestos, it is both more environmentally friendly and safer for workers involved with the demolition.
Recently, a Philadelphia contractor was found guilty of violating the Clean Air Act. Not only did Anthony Biello II neglect to notify the Environmental Protection Agency and the Air Management Services in the City of Philadelphia that he was removing asbestos from a Philadelphia church in 2009, he forged documents that indicated that he received approval for the job.
Two New York men were sentenced to 21 months in prison after improperly cleaning up and disposing of asbestos materials in the city of Malone.