Oregon Contractor and Building Owner Penalized $15,600 for Asbestos Violations – February 2011

Grants Pass Firms Penalized Total of $15,600 for Asbestos Violations on Building in Grants Pass

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has penalized two Grants Pass businesses a total of $15,600 for environmental violations stemming from an asbestos removal project at a commercial building in Grants Pass last fall.

DEQ issued a $9,600 penalty to an Oregon maintenance business located in Grants Pass, for performing an asbestos project without a license. DEQ issued a $6,000 penalty to an Oregon building owner in Grants Pass, for allowing the unlicensed an Oregon maintenance business to perform the asbestos removal work on the commercial building its owns.

In October 2010, the Oregon maintenance business’ workers removed about 250 square feet of asbestos-containing floor tile from the building. As owner of the building, was responsible for ensuring that all material containing asbestos was properly handled and disposed.

Using a saw, workers broke the tile into numerous smaller pieces. That action likely caused the release of asbestos fibers into the air. Asbestos fibers are a respiratory hazard proven to cause lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, and asbestos is a contaminant for which there is no known safe level of exposure. The workers also left the shattered tiles on the building’s floor, unpackaged, as well as in partially opened garbage bags in the building, causing the potential for further release of asbestos fibers. DEQ cited the Oregon maintenance business with openly accumulating the asbestos waste materials but did not issue a penalty for this violation.

DEQ also cited the Oregon building owner for openly accumulating asbestos-containing waste material and for failing to have an accredited inspector survey the building for the presence of asbestos-containing material before beginning work there. DEQ did not assess penalties for these violations.

Both companies appealed their penalties.