Worcester Trust and Lowell Company to Pay $24,000 Penalty for Asbestos Violations at Worcester Renovation Project
BOSTON - The 60 Shrewsbury Street Nominee Trust of Worcester and 7 Nana Steak House Inc. of Lowell have agreed to jointly pay a $24,000 penalty to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for violations of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's (MassDEP) asbestos regulations that occurred in January 2012 during the renovation of a commercial building located in Worcester.
Under the terms of the negotiated settlement, MassDEP assessed a $37,625 penalty, and agreed to suspend $13,625 of the penalty amount provided that the parties have no further violations for one year.
MassDEP personnel determined that asbestos-containing insulation was improperly removed, handled and stored during the renovation at the property, located at 60 Shrewsbury Street in Worcester. Upon discovery, MassDEP required the parties to immediately retain the services of a Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards-licensed asbestos contractor to properly handle, package and dispose of all the asbestos waste, and to decontaminate all affected areas of the property.
The parties were cited and penalized for failing to notify MassDEP of a demolition/renovation operation involving asbestos-containing materials, and for the improper removal, handling, packaging, labeling and storage of asbestos-containing waste materials.
State regulations require notification to MassDEP in advance of an asbestos-removal project, as well as the proper removal, handling, packaging, labeling, storage and disposal of asbestos waste materials. Proper removal, handling, packaging and storage of asbestos-containing materials 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.
"Owners and contractors involved with building renovation work must be fully aware of their responsibilities under the regulations to properly deal with asbestos-containing materials. Failure to notify MassDEP of asbestos removal, and to follow prescribed work practices is an extremely serious, and ultimately a costly oversight that potentially exposes workers, tenants and the general public to a known carcinogen," said Lee Dillard Adams, director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester. "As this case illustrates, noncompliance with the asbestos regulations will result in significant penalty exposure, as well as escalated cleanup, decontamination, disposal and monitoring costs."
Property owners or contractors with questions about asbestos-containing materials, 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.