- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Media Contact for Framingham Company Assessed $49,937 Penalty for Asbestos Violations at Multi-Unit Residential Property in Southbridge
Edmund Coletta, MassDEP – Director of Public Affairs
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed SMBG, LLC (SMBG) of Framingham a $49,937 penalty for violations of asbestos regulations that occurred during emergency restoration services at a damaged multi-unit residential building in Southbridge.
MassDEP states in a consent order with the company that SMBG personnel removed asbestos-containing waste materials from a damaged multi-unit residential building at 71-75 West Street in Southbridge and brought several black plastic trash bags of the asbestos waste to a facility in Walpole, operated by a licensed asbestos contractor affiliated with SMBG. SMBG conducted the asbestos abatement activity without negative air filtration, leak-tight containment, or prior notification to MassDEP.
As part of the settlement, MassDEP required SMBG to retain a licensed asbestos contractor to clean and decontaminate all affected areas of the apartment building and to remove and dispose of all asbestos-containing waste materials in compliance with the regulations. The company must also pay $12,730 of the penalty, with the remaining amount suspended as long as there are no further asbestos violations for a year.
MassDEP regulations require areas where asbestos removal will occur to be sealed off and air filtration equipment must be operated during the abatement work. These requirements are 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 prevent other parts of the building from becoming contaminated. Notification is required to MassDEP 10 working days before beginning any asbestos removal work so that the Department is aware of the removal work and has the opportunity to conduct inspections to ensure compliance with the regulations.
"Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and following required work practices is imperative to protect workers, as well as the general public," said Mary Jude Pigsley, director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester. "Failure to do so will result in penalties, as well as escalated clean-up, 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.