- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for Asbestos Abatement and Consulting Companies Settle Claims of Illegal Asbestos Work at Boston, Malden, Arlington, and Waltham Homes
BOSTON — A Malden asbestos abatement company and a Brockton asbestos consulting company will pay up to $245,000 in penalties and retrain their employees on asbestos safety over claims of illegal asbestos abatement and monitoring work at multiple residences located in Boston, Waltham, Malden, and Arlington, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
The consent judgments, entered today in Suffolk Superior Court, settle a lawsuit brought by the AG’s Office against Impresair Environmental Corporation, the abatement company hired to perform asbestos abatement at the homes, and Enviro-Safe Engineering, the asbestos consulting company hired to inspect Impresair’s abatement work at and analyze asbestos samples from three of the homes.
“Companies hired to perform asbestos work have a duty to protect homeowners from the dangers of asbestos exposure,” said AG Healey. “This settlement requires these defendants to take important steps to put an end to these reckless and dangerous work practices.”
The AG’s lawsuit alleges that the companies violated the state’s clean air law and regulations when Impresair failed to properly remove and handle asbestos-containing material, including boiler and heating pipe insulation, at three of the homes, and failed to file the appropriate notification for work at the fourth. The complaint further alleges that in one instance, Impresair left pieces of asbestos-contaminated debris in the basement of a house occupied by a family with a child. The complaint also alleges that Enviro-Safe inspected and cleared Impresair’s work, despite Impresair’s violations, and that Enviro-Safe submitted inaccurate or misleading documents and performed asbestos sample analysis without being certified to do so.
“The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has a team of analysts, scientists, investigators and attorneys who are expert in and dedicated to enforcing the Commonwealth’s asbestos regulations,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “These laws are on the books to protect the environment and the public health, and the Department will continue to partner with the Attorney General’s Office to refer the most egregious cases for appropriate prosecution and resolution.”
Under the terms of the settlement with Impresair, in addition to paying up to $80,000 in civil penalties, the company must retrain its employees who worked at the homes and provide MassDEP with additional notification whenever it performs asbestos abatement for the next eighteen months. The settlement with Enviro-Safe requires the company to pay up to $165,000 in civil penalties, retrain employees who worked on the homes, provide additional notification to MassDEP, and implement a detailed document management system to ensure accurate documentation of its asbestos-related work in the future.
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.
AG Healey has made asbestos safety a priority, as part of the Office’s “Healthy Buildings, Healthy Air” Initiative that was announced in March 2017 to better protect the health of children, families, and workers in Massachusetts from health risks posed by asbestos. Since September 2016, the AG’s Office, with the assistance of MassDEP, has successfully brought asbestos enforcement cases that together have resulted in more than $5.4 million in civil penalties.
For more information on asbestos and asbestos-related work, visit MassDEP’s website outlining asbestos construction and demolition notification requirements. For more information about asbestos-related worker safety and school safety requirements, visit the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards’ website for its asbestos safety program.
This case is being handled by Senior Enforcement Counsel Louis Dundin of AG Healey’s Environmental Protection Division, with assistance from MassDEP Northeastern Region Senior Regional Counsel, Colleen McConnell, Deputy Regional Director of its Bureau of Air and Waste, John MacAuley, and Environmental Analyst and Asbestos Inspector, Grady Dante.