For Immediate Release - May 13, 2014

MassDEP Assesses Modern Manufacturing, Inc. of Worcester $16,137 Penalty for Asbestos Violations at Worcester Condominium Tower

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has penalized Modern Manufacturing Inc. of Worcester $16,137.50 for failing to follow asbestos removal and handling regulations during a demolition and renovation project in Worcester.

During an October 2013 inspection, MassDEP inspectors observed asbestos-containing window caulking and glazing being improperly removed at a high-rise residential structure located on Southbridge Street. The company conducted a window replacement project at the site and failed to notify MassDEP in advance of the work, which involved asbestos-containing materials. Additionally, the company failed to properly remove, handle and store the asbestos-containing materials.

MassDEP regulations require asbestos-containing materials to be removed wet, prior to commencing demolition and renovation work and to seal the asbestos waste while wet into leak-tight containers that have appropriate asbestos warning labels affixed to them. These work procedures - not followed in this case - are critical measures designed to prevent a release of asbestos fibers to the environment, to protect building occupants and the general public from exposure to asbestos fibers and to preclude other parts of the building from becoming contaminated.

Under terms of a negotiated settlement, the company will pay $10,000 of the penalty while the remaining $6,137.50 will be suspended provided that the company does not have repeat violations for one year.
     
"Companies conducting renovation projects must first determine if any asbestos-containing materials will be involved," 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 general public. Failure to do so will result in penalties, 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 at http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/about/contacts/

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.

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