On November 8, 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP) fined DARN Properties, LLC in Milford for violating state asbestos regulations. The company was fined a total of $28,372.50 in connection with a renovation project in September of 2011.
During the renovations, the Mass DEP performed an inspection to make sure any possible asbestos was removed correctly. During the inspection, it was determined that DARN Properties, LLC removed floor tiles with asbestos and disposed of the tiles in an open-air dumpster on the property.
Once the Mass DEP discovered the asbestos violations, it required DARN Properties to contact the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards immediately and hire a licensed asbestos contractor to follow protocol in handling, packaging, and disposing of the asbestos tiles. The dumpster as well as all affected areas on the property were decontaminated as well.
The Mass DEP fined DARN Properties for these specific violations: “Failing to notify Mass DEP of a demolition/renovation operation involving asbestos-containing materials; and for the improper removal, handling, packing, labeling and storage of asbestos-containing waste materials.”
State regulations, as well as federal regulations, require companies to notify the Mass DEP or their state’s environmental regulatory agency before the removal of the asbestos begins. Proper removal and disposal procedures are particularly important with asbestos because the fibers can cause serious health problems.
The company is required to pay an assessed penalty of $8,500 immediately. The rest of the fine will be suspended ($19,872.50) if the company follows proper protocol and has no other violations for an entire year.
Lee Dillard Adams, the director of Mass DEP’s Central Regional Office, announced: “Owners involved with building renovation work must be fully aware of their responsibilities under the regulations to ensure the proper removal, handling, packaging and disposal of asbestos-containing materials.”
He went on say, “Failure to notify Mass DEP of asbestos removal, and to follow prescribed work practices is an extremely serious, and ultimately a costly oversight that potentially exposes workers, tenants and the general public to a known carcinogen.”
If you’re a property owner or contractor and have questions about materials containing asbestos, procedures for asbestos removal, or regulations on asbestos, you should contact the Mass DEP for more information. You can call 617-292-5500 or write:
1 Winter Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Mass DEP helps enforce clean air and clean water standards, the management of solid and hazardous waste, and the preservation of wetlands and beaches.
Source: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection