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PA MISSOURI ASBESTOS ABATEMENT COMPANY AND EMPLOYEE INDICTED FOR VIOLATING THE CLEAN AIR ACT

Release Date: 10/24/97
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24, 1997

MISSOURI ASBESTOS ABATEMENT COMPANY AND EMPLOYEE INDICTED FOR VIOLATING THE CLEAN AIR ACT

On Oct. 21, Nicholas Lee Fortner of Gladstone, Mo., and Major Abatement and Demolition Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., were indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City for violations of the Clean Air Act. Fortner is a general supervisor at Major Abatement. The indictment alleges that Major Abatement and Fortner improperly removed asbestos in the summer and fall of 1995 while removing old asbestos-insulated underground steam pipes owned by the Trigen Steam Corporation in Kansas City, Mo. However, the indictment alleges that Fortner and Major Abatement caused asbestos dust to be released when breaking the pipe jackets, failed to properly wet the asbestos before it was removed, gave few of the workers proper respiratory or protective gear, and illegally disposed of the asbestos. Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer and a lung disease known as “asbestosis” in humans. If convicted, Fortner faces a maximum of up to 10 years in prison and/or fines of up to $500,000. Major Abatement could be subject to a maximum fine of $1 million, if convicted. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Kansas City Air Quality Control Division with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center.


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