Asbestos Abatement Company Ordered to Stop Illegal Work, Clean up Asbestos and Hazardous Waste in Hyde Park
AG’s Office Previously Sued Company and Associate Alleging Illegal Asbestos Work at Eight Sites
BOSTON — A Boston-based asbestos abatement company and a man associated with the company have been ordered to secure and clean up a large amount of asbestos-contaminated waste material, waste oil, and other hazardous waste at its Hyde Park facility, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
The preliminary injunction, secured by the AG’s Office in Suffolk Superior Court, orders Clean Air Environmental, Inc. and Neal Cass not to conduct any more asbestos abatement work, preventing them from storing additional illegal asbestos waste and stopping their ongoing pattern of illegal work.
“We allege that these defendants put the health of their workers and our residents at risk by conducting illegal abatement work and unsafely storing asbestos and hazardous waste,” said AG Healey. “We have laws in place to protect workers and the public from the serious risks of asbestos exposure, and those who violate these laws will be held accountable.”
“MassDEP will work to ensure the environmental laws of the Commonwealth not only protect residents and the environment, but also support the majority of registered and licensed environmental workers and businesses that do it right,” said Massachusetts Department of Environment Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “MassDEP investigations play an important role in the state’s efforts to make sure that these protective regulations are followed by all.”
In June, the AG’s Office sued the defendants for allegedly performing unsafe, illegal asbestos work at a total of eight different locations in Boston, Quincy, Brighton, Charlestown, Cambridge, West Roxbury, and Brookline, including work on occupied homes and condominiums, on a school, and near a child care center, as well as in environmental justice neighborhoods.
The complaint further alleges that the defendants illegally stored waste from their asbestos work in ripped, unmarked, and unsecured bags that they packed in trucks, a van, and a trailer at their Hyde Park facility and stored asbestos, waste oil, and other hazardous waste unsafely in and around the building. The defendants also failed to document where they disposed of some of the illegally-stored asbestos waste and waste oil from their work.
The Court also imposed a $50,000 attachment of Clean Air Environmental’ s assets, in order to preserve the company’s ability to clean up the Hyde Park facility. If found liable, the defendants face civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day for each violation of law.
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that is used in a wide variety of building materials, from roofing and flooring, to siding and wallboard, to caulking and insulation. If asbestos is improperly handled or maintained, fibers can be released into the air and inhaled, potentially resulting in life-threatening illnesses, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Asbestosis is a serious, progressive, long-term non-cancer disease of the lungs for which there is no known effective treatment. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin membranes of the lung, chest, abdomen, and heart, that may not show up until many years after exposure, and that has no known cure, although treatment methods are available to address the effects of the disease.
AG Healey has made asbestos safety a priority, as part of the office’s “Healthy Buildings, Healthy Air” Initiative that was announced in March in an effort to better protect the health of children, families, and workers in Massachusetts from health risks posed by asbestos.
For more information on asbestos and asbestos-related work, visit MassDEP’s website outlining asbestos construction and demolition notification requirements.
This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Louis Dundin, with the assistance of Senior Regional Counsel Colleen McConnell, Asbestos Program Section Chief John MacAuley, and Asbestos Program Environmental Analyst Grady Dante of MassDEP’s Northeastern Regional Office in Wilmington.