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PA WASHINGTON MAN INDICTED FOR ILLEGAL ASBESTOS REMOVAL

Release Date: 12/11/98
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DEC. 11, 1998
WASHINGTON MAN INDICTED FOR ILLEGAL ASBESTOS REMOVAL

Gary Clinch was indicted on Dec. 2, by a grand jury in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle for two felony violations of the federal Clean Air Act. It is alleged that Clinch directed the unlawful removal of approximately 6,000 square feet of asbestos-containing ceiling material at an apartment complex in Longview, Wash. It is further alleged that Clinch subsequently dumped the material in a field adjacent to the low-income housing complex, and it was discovered that children were playing in the asbestos prior to its being found by local authorities. Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers can cause a lung disease known as Aasbestosis@ as well as mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. Contractors who properly removed asbestos material at another part of the complex provided Clinch with an estimate of the cost for clearing the remaining area, but Clinch declined to utilize their services. This case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division.

R-166 ###