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Vermont Real Estate Developer and its Demolition Contractor Agree to Pay Penalty for Clean Air Violations

Release Date: 03/02/2010
Contact Information: Dave Deegan, 617-918-1017

(Boston—March 2, 2010) - A Vermont real estate developer and its demolition contractor together have agreed to pay $15,000 for alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act and the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos.

In March 2008, the JIDDU/SITTU Trust of Colchester, Vt. and CRC Excavating, LLC of Middlesex, Vt. demolished buildings on two residential lots in Essex Junction, Vt. at 231 and 235 Pearl Street, as part of a commercial project to build a three-story, 35-unit apartment building on the combined lot.

According to EPA, JIDDU/SITTU and CRC failed to thoroughly inspect for asbestos prior to demolishing the buildings and failed to provide EPA with prior written notification of its intent to demolish, as required under federal asbestos demolition standards.
Approximately 75,106 pounds (120 cubic yards) of uninspected demolition debris was removed from the two properties and disposed of at a waste transfer station.

The federal Clean Air Act and the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos (Asbestos NESHAP) require owners and operators of demolition and renovation operations to follow certain inspection and notification requirements prior to beginning such operations, and to abide by specific work practice and waste disposal requirements when the owners and operators identify the presence of regulated asbestos-containing material. The State of Vermont also has demolition/renovation reporting and asbestos inspection requirements administered by the Vermont Department of Health.

These violations of the Asbestos NESHAP could have posed significant health risks to the surrounding community, as well as to the employees conducting the demolition, since there was no evaluation of any potential asbestos risks that may have been raised from the demolition work. However, at this time, EPA is not aware of any specific harm caused by the violations alleged in this case.

To avoid similar issues at other development sites throughout Vermont, developers and their demolition contractors are mutually liable to report planned demolitions to both EPA and the Vermont Department of Health and should hire a licensed asbestos inspector to ensure either that no asbestos containing material is present, or, if present, ensure that the material is properly managed and disposed of. EPA’s asbestos regulations help protect workers and the public from inhaling airborne asbestos fibers. Breathing asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the chest and the abdominal cavity.

More information:

- Enforcement of the Clean Air Act in New England (
http://www.epa.gov/ne/enforcement/air/index.html)

- Enforcement of Asbestos NESHAP in New England
(
http://www.epa.gov/ne/enforcement/asbestos/index.html)

- Asbestos Information (
http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/)

- Vermont Department of Health Asbestos Regulations
(
http://www.healthvermont.org/enviro/asbestos/asbestosregulatoryprogram.aspx)


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