For Immediate Release - July 21, 2017

Pittsfield Man Penalized $27,100 by MassDEP for Asbestos Removal Violations at a Pittsfield Residence

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed a fine of $27,100 to Mr. Robert Clum of Pittsfield for illegally removing asbestos at a residence at 65 Circular Avenue in Pittsfield in August of 2016.

This removal and disposal of asbestos pipe insulation potentially exposed residents to asbestos fibers. Mr. Clum did not have a Massachusetts contractor's license to do the asbestos work nor did he notify MassDEP regarding the planned asbestos removal.

Mr. Clum was hired by the homeowner to remove asbestos-containing boiler pipe insulation in the basement of the two-family home. He performed the work without using required work techniques to prevent an air-borne release of asbestos. Subsequently, a proper asbestos abatement was performed by a licensed contractor under the oversight of the MassDEP.

"In this case, an elderly resident was clearly taken advantage of by an individual unqualified to remove asbestos material," said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield. "It is essential that asbestos abatement be performed by a licensed contractor to ensure that there is no risk to human health and safety or the environment."

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 here.

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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