Geoff McPherson of GMX Environmental, LLC shared this news release with me as a reminder to both contractors and DIY’ers alike that the EPA is serious about the control of asbestos. Contractors have to be licensed to deal with it and DIY’ers probably ought to leave it to the contractors. Here’s what happens when everyone just turns their head and looks away:
For release: Jan. 31, 2013
Esther Westbrook, Compliance and Enforcement, Portland, 503-229-5374
Dottie Boyd, Air Quality Division, Salem, 503-378-5086
DEQ Issues $13,200 in Penalties to Both Contractor and Property
Management Company for Asbestos Violations in Albany
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued penalties
totaling $13,200 to Hodgie Construction LLC and JPM Real Estate
Services, Inc. for asbestos violations at a duplex located on 1985 Cedar
Circle in the Pine Meadows Village housing complex in Albany, Ore.
Hodgie Construction received a $7,200 penalty for performing an asbestos
abatement project in October 2012 on the property managed by JPM Real
Estate Services without first obtaining the required license. While
renovating the duplex, workers removed asbestos-containing popcorn
texture material from the ceiling of the garage. The texture material
was scraped and crumbled likely causing the release of asbestos fibers.
Workers also allowed the asbestos-containing waste material to openly
accumulate at the duplex. During an inspection on Oct. 22, a DEQ
inspector discovered the ceiling debris on the floor and other surfaces
in the garage and scattered throughout the interior of the duplex.
As the property manager of the facility, JPM Real Estate Services is
responsible for ensuring that asbestos on the property is properly
managed. JPM Real Estate Services received a $6,000 penalty for allowing
Hodgie Construction, a contractor without the required license, to
perform the project.
Upon notice of the violation, JPM Real Estate Services hired a licensed
asbestos abatement contractor to clean up the asbestos and dispose of
the waste material. DEQ considered these efforts when determining the
amount of the penalty.
Asbestos fibers are a respiratory hazard proven to cause cancer,
mesothelioma and asbestosis. Asbestos is a danger to public health and a
hazardous air pollutant for which there is no known safe level of exposure.
Hodgie Construction LLC appealed their penalty on Jan. 8. JPM Real
Estate Services, Inc. appealed on Jan. 24.
*Check It Before You Wreck It is the catch phrase shared by Geoff McPherson