10 years in prison for man who illegally removed asbestos

Unlicensed asbestos-removal companies across the country may want to pay attention to the sentence recently imposed on a man who was convicted of exposing people to asbestos. The 59-year old man owned and operated a company that performed illegal and dangerous asbestos removal and disposal projects.

The man’s company would reportedly offer to remove asbestos for much less money than other removal companies. In an attempt to make a larger profit, the man would cut corners, hire untrained workers and disregard federal regulations regarding asbestos removal. While he collected the money, innocent people were put in harm’s way because of his negligence.

The charges against the man included several violations of the Clean Air Act. Proper removal of asbestos should be done by specially trained employees. They need to notify the Environmental Protection Agency before work starts, as well. During the removal process, asbestos materials should be wet so that asbestos does not become airborne and inhaled. Finally, marked vehicles are to then transport and dispose of the toxic fiber at a proper waste site.

The man was knowingly in violation of all these requirements. Instead, he took shortcuts and put other people in danger. Because of this egregious disregard for public health, the man was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In addition to jail time, he must also pay a $15,000 fine and over $47,000 in restitution to the EPA for costs associated with proper cleanup and disposal.

Unfortunately, there are several of these fraudulent companies who claim to be able to remove asbestos cheaper than others. However, this can mean that they are not doing it properly, completely and safely. For those who believe they may have been scammed by a fraudulent asbestos removal company, legal action may be appropriate and compensation for damages may be available.

Source: Environment News Service, “Illinois Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Asbestos Crimes,” July 26, 2012