For Immediate Release - April 30, 2010

Two Men Plead Guilty, Sentenced for Violating the Clean Air Act

NEW BEDFORD - The owner of Northeast Demolition and Removal, and a site foreman who worked for the same company, have pled guilty in New Bedford Superior Court to charges they violated the Massachusetts Clean Air Act by failing to improperly remove asbestos from properties in Attleboro and North Attleborough. Arthur Amaral, 50, of Middleboro, the owner of Northeast Demolition and Removal, and Shawn Amaral, 38, of Norton, plead guilty yesterday to charges of failing to comply with asbestos disposal regulations (two counts) and were sentenced to serve two years of probation and to pay fines.

Arthur Amaral was ordered to pay a $1000 fine and Shawn Amaral was ordered to pay a $500 fine. The sentence also requires both defendants to report to their probation officer if they are going to conduct asbestos removal during the terms of their probation. They are also required to adhere to the guidelines of the Clean Air Act and will be in violation of the terms of their probation if they do not comply with those regulations.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Massachusetts Environmental Crimes Strike Force (ECSF), an interagency unit that includes prosecutors from the Attorney General's Office, Environmental Police Officers assigned to the Attorney General's Office, and investigators and engineers from the MassDEP.

Authorities allege the defendants directed workers to demolish parts of buildings at 21 East St. in North Attleborough and 888-896 North Main St., in Attleboro ("Cameron Woods") despite the fact that asbestos had not been removed. A consultant had conducted a full asbestos survey of the building prior to beginning work, as required, but the company did not properly remove asbestos from the site before it began demolition or renovation work.

Inspectors from MassDEP inspected the properties in North Attleborough and Attleboro in September of 2007 and discovered evidence that floor tiles, piping, and other debris from the demolition was covered in asbestos, a known carcinogen. In the course of the investigation, MassDEP inspectors inspected a storage facility in Middleboro and discovered 76 cardboard drums containing tiles and pipe insulation that tested positive for asbestos.

Authorities also found that each of the Amarals violated the Massachusetts Clean Air Act by failing to follow mandated asbestos removal procedures during the demolition and renovation, and improperly disposing of asbestos waste.

This case was investigated by the Massachusetts Environmental Crimes Strike Force (ECSF), which is overseen by Attorney General Coakley, MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt and Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian A. Bowles. The ECSF investigates and prosecutes crimes that harm or threaten the state's water, air, or land and that pose a significant threat to human health.

A Bristol County Grand Jury returned the indictments against the defendants on June 17, 2009. The defendants were arraigned today in Bristol Superior Court July 16, 2009.

Assistant Attorney General David Lieberman of Attorney General Coakley's Environmental Crimes Strike Force is prosecuting the case. Environmental Analysts Joseph Leary and Andrew Cooney, and Attorney Daniel d'Hedouville, from MassDEP's Southeast Regional Office, investigated the case.