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Press Release MassDEP Fines Abide, Inc. for Asbestos Violations

Failure to completely isolate the work area and not properly operating the filtration system correctly
For immediate release:
2/16/2021
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Media Contact for MassDEP Fines Abide, Inc. for Asbestos Violations

Edmund Coletta, MassDEP – Director of Public Affairs

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) today announced it has fined Abide, Inc. of East Longmeadow, a Massachusetts-licensed asbestos abatement contractor, $26,100 for asbestos violations that occurred during asbestos abatement activities at a commercial property at 320 Riverside Drive in Northampton.
 
On December 4, 2019, MassDEP inspectors performed an unannounced inspection at the property and observed that Abide personnel had failed to completely isolate the work area and were not properly operating the high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration system correctly by venting the air into a water-filled sump within the work area. Inspectors also noted punctures in polyethylene sheeting wrapping asbestos-containing pipe insulation that had been removed from the work area and was stored in a truck outside. Abide personnel were ordered to correct the violations on that date.
 
On December 5, 2019, a second unannounced inspection was performed. Although the violations observed the prior day had been corrected, it was noted that Abide personnel had failed to file a revised asbestos abatement notification form to extend work activities at the site, failed to fully decontaminate all surfaces adequately within the work area, and had taken the HEPA system out of operation prior to meeting visual inspection requirements that ensure complete removal of the asbestos-containing materials. 
 
“Asbestos is a known carcinogen and following required work practices is imperative to protect workers, as well as the building tenants and the general public,” said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield. “We are pleased that damaged asbestos- containing flooring will be removed from Pittsfield High School as part of this enforcement action.”
 
MassDEP issued the $26,100 penalty, and the company must pay $6,525 of the penalty and perform a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) valued at $11,470. The SEP proposed by Abide involves abatement of damaged asbestos-containing floor tiles at Pittsfield High School at no cost to the City of Pittsfield. The balance of the penalty is suspended provided Abide complies with Massachusetts asbestos regulations at its future abatement projects. 
 
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.
 
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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Media Contact for MassDEP Fines Abide, Inc. for Asbestos Violations

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 

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