Hazardous Materials

August 10, 2011

Firms fined $110K for asbestos violations

Source: http://www.montereyherald.com, August 6, 2011

Two companies agreed to pay $110,000 in fines this week for asbestos violations stemming from a 2009 renovation project at Windsor Monterey Care Center.

The work involved scraping an asbestos-laden acoustic ceiling. The facility’s parent company was faulted for failing to conduct a federally required asbestos survey or to notify Cal-OSHA or the Monterey Bay Area Unified Air Pollution Control District before the project.

S&F Management Co. LLC, which oversaw the work, failed to protect workers. Because wet methods were not used, asbestos dust was released, increasing the workers’ risk for lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.

Windsor ultimately hired an environmental firm to remediate the contamination and properly dispose of the hazardous waste.

Monterey County environmental prosecutor Dije Ndreu stressed the importance of conducting pre-demolition asbestos surveys, which are required of all facilities except residential buildings with four or fewer dwellings.…

August 1, 2011

Asbestos lawsuit to be settled for $270,000

Read here about a city in Wisconsin that has agreed to pay $270,000 to settle an asbestos lawsuit.…

July 1, 2011

Fixed Base Operator – Jet Fuel

Acknowledgement to Great American Environmental Division

A ruptured fuel hose spilled a few thousand gallons of jet fuel onto the ground at a regional airport. The fuel eventually reached an adjacent river. The contractor responsible for fueling operations paid significant clean-up costs for soil and groundwater as a result of failing to adequately maintain the fueling equipment. Remediation included excavating contaminated soil as well as clean-up of groundwater and surface water. The contractor was also assessed a fine for natural resource damages due to the impact upon the river habitat.…

July 1, 2011

Excavation Contractor – Contaminated Soil

Acknowledgement to Great American Environmental Division

During the course of performing site preparation work for a new building the excavation contractor spread contaminated soil throughout the site. The contractor was held partially responsible for exacerbating the contaminated soil.…

July 1, 2011

Electrical Contractor – Asbestos

Acknowledgement to Great American Environmental Division

While installing new electrical lines in a historic building the contractor used a hole saw to cut through a ceiling. Unknown to the contractor, the saw had inadvertently disturbed and released asbestos-containing insulation material. The contractor had to pay for clean-up costs for the asbestos fibers released throughout the building.…

July 1, 2011

Asbestos found in Arroyo Chico project

Source: http://www.kold.com, June 28, 2011
By: Bud Foster

A few years ago, it was not unusual for people to use washes and arroyos as their own personal garbage dumps.

It was not illegal, it was convenient and some thought it was a good way to help prevent flooding by shoring up the sides.

Those days are long gone, but what’s left behind is, in some cases, just being discovered.

One of those things is asbestos.

“We did find some asbestos when we were constructing Phase II of the Arroyo Chico project, says Chris Cawein, deputy director of the county flood control district.

Construction workers found a mix of things including siding and roof tiles that contained the asbestos.

About 1500 cubic feet of soil and debris had to be removed from two sites and another one will be cleaned up later this week.…

June 22, 2011

Rail Companies Threatened With Lawsuit

Read here about two large rail companies who are being threatened with a lawsuit that aims to classify diesel exhaust as a hazardous waste.…

June 14, 2011

Lawsuit filed over improper asbestos removal in Middle Ave. demolitions

Source: http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com, June 8, 2011

A Lakewood property owner is being sued by the state attorney general for hiring a contractor who did not follow asbestos removal protocol when demolishing two buildings on Middle Avenue in Elyria.

The two properties at 518 and 522 Middle Avenue came down in May 2007. At that time, Donald Mountain, of Lakewood, was the listed owner of the two properties, and he hired Cleveland-based Richard’s Your Outdoor Connection Inc., to raze the buildings.

However, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court by attorneys in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s office, neither Mountain nor the company he hired notified the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency of plans to demolish the properties, and a thorough asbestos inspection of the properties was not done prior to the buildings being torn down and the site being cleared.

Under Ohio law, any time asbestos is removed from a building, a thorough remediation plan must be filed through the Ohio EPA and precisely followed to ensure the particles, which have been linked to cancer, are not airborne in the community.

The lawsuit, which demands a civil penalty award of $25,000, said Mountain “increased risk to the public health and environment, and illegally thwarted the ability of the Ohio EPA to ensure that the quality of air in Lorain County is protected from the emission of airborne asbestos.”

The contractor, Richard Whitt, did secure two demolition permits from the Elyria Building Department, but failed to follow up with the Ohio EPA for the proper prior inspection and notification.…

May 3, 2011

Essential legal guidelines for managing environmental risk when buying or leasing real estate

Source: http://www.sbnonline.com, May 1, 2011

Virtually every real property deal carries a risk of environmental liability. Prior to acquiring or leasing a site, the business should consult a competent transactional lawyer to negotiate contractual protections in the contract or lease that minimize the exposure and risk of environmental liability.

These protections may include lengthy due diligence periods, representations and warranties regarding hazardous materials, indemnification provisions, carefully drafted provisions regarding responsibility for clean up, remediation and monitoring, and holdbacks or other security for future performance.

Smart Business sat down with M. Alim Malik and Alene Taber, land use and environmental attorneys with Jackson DeMarco Tidus Peckenpaugh, to obtain an overview of environmental risks that every owner or lessee of real property should evaluate.…

April 20, 2011

Ironshore Environmental Enhances Pollution Program for Education Sector

Source: Insurance Journal, April 20, 2011

Ironshore Inc.’s Environmental Insurance unit has enhanced its asset-class specific Site Pollution Incident Legal Liability Select (SPILLS) suite of products to address risk exposures within the education sector, including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, universities and other educational facilities.  Ironshore’s SPILLS EDU program provides coverages for a range of environmental pollutants, including mold, legionella, drinking water contaminants and PCB containing materials, among others.

The SPILLS EDU program provides environmental liability coverages without the need to schedule specific school properties.  Coverage is provided for first and third party on-site and off-site remediation expenses, claims for bodily injury and property damage, including natural resource damages, transportation, waste disposal activities and business interruption (without a sublimit) for pre-existing and new conditions.

SPILLS EDU policy limits are available from $1 to $30 million.