Source: http://www.courierpostonline.com, January 9, 2012
By: Eileen Stilwell
The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection has filed a civil lawsuit against a Philadelphia contractor for improperly removing asbestos from a commercial building in Gibbstown.
The suit charges Lovett Contracting of Northeast Philadelphia with removing approximately 3,000 feet of asbestos insulation from above-ground piping and tossing it onto the ground of a commercial building slated for demolition between January and March of 2007.
Lovett failed to notify authorities before the removal, according to the lawsuit, so no inspector was on site at the time.
The company also failed to wet the insulation to reduce air pollution during the process and to store it in leak-proof containers, as required by law.
The suit charges Lovett with failing to even inspect the building for the presence of asbestos before beginning demolition.
These regulations apply to any commercial structure or residential building with more than four dwelling units.
Lovett was unavailable Monday for comment.
General Chemical, LLC, of Parsippany was leasing the building on North Rapauno Avenue at the time.
It hired Wade Salvage Inc. of Atco to decommission and demolish the structure.
Wade hired Lovett to handle the asbestos.
Neither Wade nor General Chemical were named defendants in the suit.
The violations were discovered in a routine inspection by the state in April 2007, according to court papers filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter G. O’Malley.
If found guilty on all six counts, Lovett stands to face penalties of $32,500 per day on each count, plus legal fees incurred by the federal attorney.