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PA ILLEGAL ASBESTOS REMOVAL AT HISTORIC APARTMENT BUILDING

Release Date: 09/08/96
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PA ILLEGAL ASBESTOS REMOVAL AT HISTORIC APARTMENT BUILDING

FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1996

ILLEGAL ASBESTOS REMOVAL AT HISTORIC APARTMENT BUILDING LEADS TO SECOND SET OF CONVICTIONS IN SARASOTA, FLA.

On Aug. 29, Jay Davison Foley and Foley Holdings Corp. pleaded guilty to one Clean Air Act felony count of removing asbestos in violation of the Asbestos NESHAP work practice standards. The violation occurred during the renovation of the historic Orange Blossom Club Apartments, a 70 year-old historic apartment building in Sarasota. On June 19, Ernest Paul Ritz and the Ritz Construction Co. previously pleaded guilty to illegally disposing of the asbestos contaminated debris removed during the renovation. Foley purchased the building knowing that it contained substantial amounts of asbestos. Foley hired laborers and a local contractor to demolish and renovate the top two floors of the building. The workers removed asbestos and asbestoscovered components without proper notification to authorities and without wetting it so it would be contained, thus causing a release of asbestos fibers into the air. Ritz then improperly disposed of the asbestos. Foley specifically admitted that even after he was caught by government inspectors removing the asbestos, he continued to remove as much of the hazardous material as possible to lessen the costs of proper removal by a licensed company. Foley and Ritz each face a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $250,000. Foley Holdings Corp. and the Ritz Construction Co. each face a maximum sentence of five years probation and/or a fine of up to $500,000. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division.

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