Source: http://www.statesmanjournal.com, June 12, 2014
By: Tracy Loew
Four companies have been fined a total of $36,800 for violating Oregon’s asbestos law during renovations at a Monmouth apartment last December.
The state Department of Environmental Quality imposed a $4,800 fine on the apartment owner, Bryadd Inc. of Salem; and $5,600 fines on both the property manager, Western View Properties of Monmouth, and the contractor, MCC Remodeling of Keizer.
It levied a $20,800 fine on a second contractor, Pacific Environmental Group of Cottage Grove, which was brought in to clean up after the violations were discovered but ended up causing further violations.
The project began when Western View hired MCC Remodeling to repair water damage at an apartment at 677 E. Main St. The company did not have an asbestos abatement permit.
Meanwhile, the building’s owner failed to have a trained inspector survey the unit for asbestos before renovations began, DEQ said.
MCC Remodeling removed flooring that removed asbestos, placed some of it in garbage bags, and left other portions of the debris scattered and piled in the apartment, in violation of law.
Samples of the debris taken by a local professional cleaning company showed the presence of asbestos.
After learning of the problem, Western View hired a licensed asbestos abatement contractor, Pacific Environmental, to clean up the mess.
Pacific Environmental then failed to enclose the project with a negative pressure system, as required by law. It also failed to have a copy of an asbestos survey report on-site.
“Failing to adhere to these work practices and procedures presents a significant risk to public health and the environment because there is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos fibers,” DEQ officials wrote.
The project could have released asbestos fibers into the air, exposing workers and nearby residents, DEQ said.