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EPA REVOKES ASBESTOS ACCREDITATION OF W. VA CONTRACTOR

Release Date: 5/4/1999
Contact Information: David Sternberg 814-5548

NEW MARTINSVILLE, W.Va. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has barred Frederick Q. Blizzard, a New Martinsville, W.Va. man, from performing asbestos work requiring federal or state accreditation. The action announced today is the first EPA deaccreditation of an asbestos contractor in West Virginia. On September 1, 1998, Mr. Blizzard was sentenced to 12 months in jail for conspiring with employees of his asbestos abatement company, SAK Environmental, Inc., to violate the Clean Air Act.

"This action shows that asbestos contractors will not be allowed to stay in business if they flout the laws designed to protect the health of their workers and the public," said EPA Regional Administrator W. Michael McCabe.

In a letter dated April 7, EPA permanently revoked the accreditation of Mr. Blizzard to perform any activities regulated under the Toxic Substance Control Act. This federal law requires training and accreditation of workers who perform asbestos-related work such as inspections, writing asbestos management plans, and designing or conducting abatement projects in school, public and commercial buildings. Many states also require accreditation to obtain a license to conduct asbestos-related work.

EPA is authorized to revoke the accreditation of persons convicted of criminal asbestos violations, or ordered to pay civil penalties under TSCA or the Clean Air Act.

Mr. Blizzard and SAK had pled guilty to these charges on October 16, 1997, one week before their scheduled criminal trial. The government charged that Mr. Blizzard and SAK, falsified state licenses for asbestos workers, falsified addresses for workers employed on federally-funded highway renovation projects, and failed to adequately wet asbestos on several jobs in West Virginia and Ohio. The government also charged that Mr. Blizzard and SAK contaminated a multi-story building in downtown Wheeling, West Virginia by improperly using high-pressure sprayers to remove fireproofing containing asbestos, and dumped asbestos-containing material in rural Tyler County, W. Va.

For more information on asbestos certification requirements, please contact Garry Sherman, EPA Region III Asbestos Program Coordinator, at (215) 814-5267.

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