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Vermont Flooring Contractor Faces Fine for Clean Air Violations

Release Date: 10/09/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617)918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Oct. 9, 2009) – A Vermont flooring contractor faces a penalty for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos, commonly known as the “Asbestos NESHAP” regulations.

According to EPA, Morrison-Clark, Inc. of South Barre violated certain requirements of the Asbestos NESHAP when they performed a flooring removal and replacement job, in July 2008, at the Main Street Middle School in Montpelier. The flooring consisted of vinyl asbestos tile.

Specifically, Morrison-Clark failed to provide written notice to EPA before starting the work, to wet the asbestos while stripping it and keep it wet until collected and contained for disposal and, also, failed to properly handle and dispose of asbestos-containing waste that was generated. The company faces a penalty of up to $32,500 per day for the alleged violations of the “Asbestos NESHAP” regulations.

The federal Clean Air Act and the Asbestos NESHAP requirements, promulgated under the Act, require owners and operators of renovation operations to follow certain inspection requirements prior to beginning work and, for jobs involving regulated asbestos-containing materials, to abide by specific notification, work practice, and waste disposal requirements.

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 abdominal cavity. Violations of Asbestos NESHAP requirements can pose significant health risks to the surrounding community, as well as to workers conducting demolition or renovation operations. In this case, though, EPA is not aware of any specific harm or exposure to airborne asbestos caused by the renovation.

More information:

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

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Asbestos Information (www.epa.gov/asbestos/)

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