Ohio EPA fines APEX site owners for asbestos violations

Ohio EPA fines APEX site owners for asbestos violations

Source: http://www.sanduskyregister.com, June 27, 2011
By: Jessica Cuffman

While owners of the former Apex Manufacturing site moved forward to clean up the property, the Ohio EPA fined them for asbestos-related violations.

Famous Realty of Cleveland will have to pay $20,700 in civil fees for improperly destroying buildings that still had asbestos inside them, according to the Ohio EPA.

The company hired a contractor in 2007 to remove asbestos from three bays in one of the buildings, while another contractor was then hired to take down the bays, said Heather Lauer, an Ohio EPA spokeswoman.

When the bays were taken down in 2008, a boiler house that still had asbestos inside was also destroyed, Lauer said.

About 560 square feet of boiler and tank insulation and about 1,000 feet of pipe insulation were never properly removed, according to EPA documents.

The EPA found Famous Realty failed to meet four regulations:

  • The company did not notify the EPA the boiler house was included in the demolition;
  • The contractor did not remove all the asbestos before destroying the building;
  • No trained representative was on site during demolition;
  • Asbestos waste material was not kept adequately wet after demolition, because it was not removed beforehand.

After the demolition an Ohio EPA inspector found dry, crumbling material containing asbestos at the site, according to EPA documents.

The documents also state that Famous Realty and the contractor that destroyed the front of the building — Selvey’s Dirt Works, of Clyde — got quotes on the cost to remove asbestos from the bays and boiler areas.

City officials agreed this month to help Famous Realty apply for additional funds to clean up the 15 acres of brownfield property.

The city plans to provide $45,000 from its federal brownfield assessment grant to pay for research that needs to be done before applying for the funding in July.

With demolition and cleanup of the buildings, located at 1643 First St., the project could cost upwards of $150,000.

Partners Environmental started working on the two-part assessment earlier this month, said Dan Brown, president and owner of the Solon-based consulting company.

The first phase of the assessment evaluated the property’s history and use, while the second phase will include sampling and testing.

The assessment results will be provided to the city on July 18, at which point they’ll be also be available to the public.

The old Apex property, meanwhile, is taking priority over the Sandusky Cabinets redevelopment.

The Sandusky Cabinets site was also slated to receive brownfield assessment funding, but commissioners are tied up with the Apex property.

The ultimate goal: Get the site developed, said Todd Roth, the city’s planning and development director.

“We want it to not be a hindrance, and turn it into a site, a viable site, to be developed,” Roth said. “A benefit, instead of a constant eyesore not contributing to the city.”

The city doesn’t need to own a property or a business for Sandusky residents to reap the benefits, Roth said.

One example he cited: the Chesapeake Lofts project, which has generated money through tax increment financing.

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