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PA PENNSYLVANIA DEMOLITION CONTRACTOR CONVICTED

Release Date: 12/19/97
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1997

PENNSYLVANIA DEMOLITION CONTRACTOR CONVICTED

On Dec. 11, Howard Parsons of Holland, Pa., was convicted by a jury in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on seven counts of violating the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) in regards to the demolition of the old Grant Paper Company buildings in Philadelphia. Parsons was found guilty on five counts of failing to follow federal workplace standards for asbestos abatement and two counts of illegal disposal of asbestos waste. Parsons, operator of Philadelphia Construction and Equipment Inc., was hired by the building’s owner to demolish the building, which contained at least 7,605 square feet of regulated asbestos-containing material. Federal workplace standards have been established to reduce exposure to airborne asbestos fibers which can cause a lung disease known as “asbestosis” and lung cancer in people. Grant Paper Company’s corporate successor, TGP Inc., plead guilty to one CAA count in 1995, and cleaned up the dump sites in a minority environmental justice community in Philadelphia at a cost of $1.5 million. Parsons faces a maximum possible sentence of 35 years imprisonment, fines of up to $1.75 million or both. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the asbestos regulatory programs of EPA Region 3 and the City of Philadelphia, with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center.

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