For Immediate Release - August 20, 2013

MassDEP Assesses $16,137 Penalty to Ludlow Firm for Asbestos Violations at Demolition Project in Boylston

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed a $16,137.50 penalty to Safe Environment of America, Inc. for violations of state asbestos regulations that occurred at a former gasoline station in Boylston that was slated for demolition.

During a July 2011 inspection, MassDEP inspectors observed Safe Environment of America personnel removing asbestos-containing transite panels from the exterior of the structure without any attempts to minimize breakage or to carefully lower them to the ground. During the inspection, MassDEP observed numerous dry, shattered asbestos-containing panels uncontained on the ground. Safe Environment of America, Inc. of Ludlow is an asbestos contractor licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards.

MassDEP cited and penalized the company for failing to carefully lower the asbestos-containing materials to the ground and for failure to seal the asbestos waste while wet into leak-tight containers with appropriate asbestos warning labels affixed to them. State regulations require notification to MassDEP in advance of an asbestos removal project; as well as requiring the proper removal, handling, packaging, labeling, storage and disposal of asbestos waste materials.  Proper packaging and labeling of asbestos waste are critical measures that prevent the release of and potential exposure to asbestos fibers and warn of the health hazards associated with that type of waste material.

"Licensed asbestos contractors are fully aware of the removal, handling, packaging and storage requirements that must be followed when dealing with asbestos-containing exterior panels," said Lee Dillard Adams, director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester.  "Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and following prescribed regulatory work practices is imperative to protect workers as well as the health of the general public and the environment. Failure to do so will result in significant penalty exposure, as well as escalated cleanup, decontamination and monitoring costs."

Property owners or contractors with questions about asbestos-containing materials, notification requirements, proper removal, handling, packaging, storage and disposal procedures, or the asbestos regulations are encouraged to contact the appropriate MassDEP Regional Office for assistance.

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.