_ap_ufes{"success":true,"siteUrl":"friableasbestos.com","urls":{"Home":"http://friableasbestos.com","Category":"http://friableasbestos.com/category/current-asbestos-news/","Archive":"http://friableasbestos.com/2015/04/","Post":"http://friableasbestos.com/asbestos-firms-ready-to-fight-silvers-slanted-legal-system/","Page":"http://friableasbestos.com/effect-asbestos-mesothelioma/","Nav_menu_item":"http://friableasbestos.com/69/"}}_ap_ufee

June 23, 2018

Tough new ACT goverment rules for asbestos removers and assessors start to come into play

ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe.

ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe. Photo: Karleen Minney

The ACT government’s new rules for builders and asbestos handlers began to be introduced on Thursday, making formal training mandatory for those taking part on the territory’s mammoth battle with asbestos.

After a year of controversy over the handling of loose asbestos fibres in the capital’s 1021 Mr Fluffy homes, the new rules were endorsed in industry codes on Thursday after they were first announced in November.

The key changes close up more loopholes in the ACT laws, allowing unlicensed people to handle asbestos.

“In the other states and territories [in some specific cases] it can be dealt with by a ‘competent person’ and we have removed that and in our case it must be done by a licensed assessor,” Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe said.

Advertisement

Another of these loopholes is one that allowed builders to remove up to 10-square-metres of bonded asbestos from homes from the start of 2015.

The old rules were designed so builders could deal with small jobs such as removing asbestos wallboard for bathroom renovations.

The removal of bonded asbestos will now have to be done by a licensed asbestos removalist.

The changes also lift the qualifications and training required to assess and remove asbestos.

Applicants for licences will have additional requirements to apply for and keep licences.

Mr McCabe said the introduction would improve worker protections. “I would call it Work Health and Safety regulations plus, we’ve taken the ones from around the country and strengthened them in some key areas largely because of our experiences with Mr Fluffy,” Mr McCabe said.

This also means that from January 1, the ACT was brought into line with other states and territories, making it easier for outside workers and companies to work in the ACT.

This is because the rules move asbestos handling to the Work Health and Safety Act which Mr McCabe said has now been harmonised around the country.

“So it brings our regulations and our code of practise in line, and it makes it easier for us to regulator assessors and removalists who come in from interstate,” he said.

Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations Mick Gentleman is expected to endorse the two improved codes on Friday.

He said the codes would “provide practical advice” to industry on meeting higher asbestos standards.

“The new safety laws focus on equipping industry professionals, regulators and the community with the information, education and oversight needed to prevent people being exposed to asbestos,” Mr Gentleman said.

The crackdown on handling of asbestos in homes will come into play at various points from January 1.

Back in October Employment Minister Eric Abetz announced that the Commonwealth would lend the ACT government government $1 billion to to buy back and demolish the homes containing Mr Fluffy asbestos.

Two hundred homes are set to be demolished a year for the next five years from January 2015, and soft furnishings in houses will also have to be destroyed.

See the original article here – 

Tough new ACT goverment rules for asbestos removers and assessors start to come into play

Googong and Tralee the winners from ACT asbestos Fluffy buyback, says real Estate Institute

The Inquiry into the proposed Appropriation (Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication) Bill 2014-15. Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane<br />
Rattenbury, centre, faces questions along with other personnel.” title=”” src=”/content/dam/images/1/1/w/5/7/h/image.related.articleLeadwide.620×349.11w4n8.png/1417154987854.jpg”/>
<p>
                                The Inquiry into the proposed Appropriation (Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication) Bill 2014-15. Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane<br />
Rattenbury, centre, faces questions along with other personnel.<cite><i> Photo: Graham Tidy</i></cite>
                                </p>
</div>
<p><!-- class:cT-imageLandscape/cT-imagePortrait -->
<p>The new NSW suburbs of Googong and Tralee will be the winners from the Mr Fluffy buyback, the head of the Real Estate Institute of the ACT, Ron Bell, has warned, with little land available in the ACT.</p>
<p>Also on Friday, an inquiry into the Fluffy buyback and demolition heard that about 300,000 cubic metres of asbestos-contaminated material from Fluffy homes is expected to be dumped at the West Belconnen tip, with back-up plans to accommodate a lot more.</p>
<p>Thought is also being given to the future of the dump site, with a possibility it will become sportsgrounds, Territories and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury said. Asked for detail later, he also raised the possibility of a solar farm on the site, but stressed they were simply ideas and no decisions had been made about the long-term future of the site.</p>
<p>Mr Bell said it would be Canberra’s loss if homeowners bought in Googong and Tralee, near Queanbeyan, with the loss of rates and taxes across the border, but people wanting to build a new home were left with little choice.</p>
<p>
        <small>Advertisement</small>
        </p>
<p>“The process will be quicker and land is going to be cheaper,” he said, with NSW planning and development moving faster and few blocks available in the ACT, despite the fact that the stamp duty waiver will not be available to people who buy in NSW.</p>
<p>“You can’t go out and buy a block of land [in the ACT],” he said. “The builders are screaming about that sort of thing.”</p>
<p>Mr Bell, speaking to the inquiry, also suggested Fluffy owners would head for retirement villages and apartments, because of the cost, the lack of land and their stage in life.</p>
<p>Treasurer Andrew Barr told the inquiry the government would release 4000 new house sites next year, and between 3500 and 4000 in each year beyond that. That was an increase from the underlying demand for 2700 to 3000 new sites a year, he said.</p>
<p>He also predicted the influx of Fluffy homeowners would not have a big impact on the real-estate market, given it had been flat for three or four years and was at the mercy largely of Commonwealth job cuts, with more cuts expected at the federal government’s mid-year update in February. </p>
<p>The inquiry heard that officials were expecting 300 cubic metres of material to be dumped at West Belconnen from each of the 1021 Fluffy homes, but the site had capacity for more – up to 480,000 cubic metres.</p>
<p>Questioned about safety, Mr Rattenbury said the material would be secured as it was delivered by truck, then 30 centimetres of cover would be added at the end of each day, and the site would be capped at the end of the demolition. Officials were reviewing the protocols to check they were sufficient for the large-scale dumping.</p>
<p>“There is clearly no intention for asbestos to be blowing around West Belconnen,” he said.</p>
<p>The executive director of the directorate’s business enterprises division, Phillip Perram, said the material would arrive in a bonded state, with a superglue-like material used to bind it before it was loaded on to trucks, giving it the integrity necessary to stop it blowing around.</p>
<p>Labor backbencher Mary Porter raised concerns about contamination of stormwater and groundwater. Mr Perram responded that asbestos fibres were “literally trapped” by the soil and would not enter groundwater. Stormwater was not an issue because the site would be capped. He did not provide details on the question of stormwater contamination during the demolition, given water would be used to damp dust while houses were being demolished.</p>
<p>He suggested the dump site might one day be used for playing fields and walking tracks, a suggestion backed by Mr Rattenbury, who said it wasn’t so much a hole that was being created at West Belconnen as a “land mass” that would be shaped depending on future uses, such as sportsgrounds.</p>
<p>Taskforce head Andrew Kefford said the asbestos removed from the ceilings of Mr Fluffy homes 20 years ago had been dumped at Palmerston, in Gungahlin, at what were now the Gungaderra grasslands.</p>
<p>Fluffy Owners and Residents Action group spokesperson Brianna Heseltine said owners were confused about the evolving advice on whether contents were safe to take with them, with conflicting advice from the Asbestos Taskforce and removalists. <a href=The taskforce is leaving decisions largely in the hands of owners, beyond telling them they should not touch anything that has been stored in the subfloor or ceiling space, or in contaminated cupboards. They have also been told that soft furnishings, bedding, linen, soft toys and clothing stored in a contaminated area should be abandoned.

Read this article: 

Googong and Tralee the winners from ACT asbestos Fluffy buyback, says real Estate Institute

Katy Gallagher says focus needs to be on a long-term Mr Fluffy asbestos insulation solution

Katy Gallagher says focus needs to be on a long-term Mr Fluffy asbestos insulation solution

Comment

Date

Katy Gallagher

Dmark Giersch wears protective gear while in a cupboard of a house in Campbell to vacuum away dust and asbestos that may have leaked into the house from the roof through cracks at the top of built in robes in this 1988 file photo.

Dmark Giersch wears protective gear while in a cupboard of a house in Campbell to vacuum away dust and asbestos that may have leaked into the house from the roof through cracks at the top of built in robes in this 1988 file photo. Photo: Canberra Times

Any Canberran with a friend or relative dealing with the stress and uncertainty of owning or living in a house with Mr Fluffy loose fill asbestos will know the impact this issue is having. I have met many of these people, read their letters, heard about their financial stresses and their fears of asbestos-related disease. Had the history of this almost 50-year saga played out differently, these families would be spared the trauma they are going through and the community would be spared the large financial cost of making right this sad chapter in the ACT’s history.

Instead we find ourselves now with the need to find a solution. The ACT Cabinet has received an initial report from the Asbestos Response Taskforce which provides the first evidence based, comprehensive expert analysis of the 2014 status of the more than 1000 Mr Fluffy homes. This advice will inform negotiations currently underway with the Commonwealth. We know that the decisions that flow from this advice must deliver a fair outcome for affected families, a sustainable solution for the taxpayers of the ACT and the Commonwealth and one which ends the saga once and for all. I appreciate the frustration of those affected in having to wait for more information, but forcing this process is not an option. The history of the issue binds our two governments together and a permanent solution can only be a shared one.

Advertisement

Continue at source – 

Katy Gallagher says focus needs to be on a long-term Mr Fluffy asbestos insulation solution

Essex firm faces $125K fine in asbestos case

BOSTON — An Essex-based demolition company has been ordered by the state Attorney General’s Office to pay up to $125,000 in civil penalties to resolve allegations of improper handling and disposal of asbestos during the demolition of a building in Worcester.

According to the complaint, filed Thursday with the consent judgment in Suffolk Superior Court, McConnell Enterprises Inc. — a state-licensed asbestos removal contractor that is headquartered on Icehouse Lane in Essex but has its equipment yard in Braintree — uncovered piping wrapped with asbestos insulation during demolition of Worcester’s former Crompton and Knowles building in 2011. The material was left hanging three stories above the ground, putting workers and others in the area at “risk of contact with harmful fibers” for an extended period of time, the AG’s office claims.

A spokesman from McConnell’s Essex office did not return a phone message Friday seeking comment.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley, in a prepared statement, said the case is one she is taking seriously.

“Our office takes the mishandling of asbestos very seriously because of the health effects,” Coakley said. “Companies working with asbestos-containing materials must be held to the highest standards of care as ordered under our state air laws and regulations.”

The complaint further alleges that McConnell also failed to follow proper notification procedures, preventing the state Department of Environmental Protection from conducting appropriate oversight of the company’s asbestos removal activities.

“Licensed asbestos contractors are fully aware of the removal, handling, packaging and storage requirements that must be followed when dealing with asbestos-containing materials and of the requirement to provide notification to MassDEP in advance of this work,” said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. “Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and following the rules is imperative to protect workers as well as the general public and environment. Failure to do so will result in significant penalty exposure, as well as escalated cleanup, decontamination and monitoring costs.”

The AG’s office alleges that, in order to secure payment under its demolition contract with the city of Worcester, McConnell falsely certified that it had complied with the applicable laws and regulations, violating the Massachusetts False Claims Act. The complaint also alleges various violations of the commonwealth’s air pollution prevention statute, its asbestos regulations, and its solid waste management statute and regulations.

Under the settlement, McConnell must pay $82,500 in civil penalties to the commonwealth and another $42,500 in civil penalties if it fails to conform to waste regulations over the next 18 months, according to a statement from the AG’s office.

More – 

Essex firm faces $125K fine in asbestos case

Contractor fined for asbestos violations at Worcester project

WORCESTER — A demolition company has been fined up to $125,000 for mishandling asbestos during a renovation of the Crompton and Knowles building at 95 Grand St.

According to Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office, the contractor, McConnell Enterprises Inc., of Essex and Braintree, “uncovered piping wrapped with asbestos insulation during demolition in 2011 and allegedly left it hanging three stories above the ground, putting workers and others in the area at risk of contact with harmful fibers for an extended period of time.”

McConnell — a state-licensed asbestos removal contractor — “finally removed the asbestos-covered pipes and other asbestos-containing materials from the building on Grand Street, the company failed to properly handle and store it, leaving it in unmarked black plastic bags in a nearby building where people regularly come and go and other businesses operate.”

The complaint, filed Thursday in Suffolk Superior Court, McConnell “also failed to follow proper notification procedures, preventing the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) from conducting appropriate oversight of the company’s asbestos removal activities.”

In order to secure payment under its demolition contract with the city of Worcester, the complaint alleged that McConnell “falsely certified that it had complied with the applicable laws and regulations, violating the Massachusetts False Claims Act. The complaint also alleges various violations of the commonwealth’s air pollution prevention statute, its asbestos regulations, and its solid waste management statute and regulations.”

Under the settlement, McConnell must pay $82,500 in civil penalties to the state, and another $42,500 in civil penalties if it fails to conform to waste regulations over the next 18 months.

When reached at its Braintree headquarters Friday, a McConnell employee said the company would have no comment.

“Licensed asbestos contractors are fully aware of the removal, handling, packaging and storage requirements that must be followed when dealing with asbestos-containing materials and of the requirement to provide notification to MassDEP in advance of this work,” said DEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell in a press release. “Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and following the rules is imperative to protect workers as well as the general public and environment. Failure to do so will result in significant penalty exposure, as well as escalated cleanup, decontamination and monitoring costs.”

Aaron Nicodemus can be reached at anicodemus@telegram.com

Link: 

Contractor fined for asbestos violations at Worcester project

A decade on: Queanbeyan still left with asbestos mess

More than 10 years after a $100 million clean up of asbestos was completed in the ACT, it is still an issue in Queanbeyan.

The Canberra clean up was funded by the Commonwealth, but it did not extend to Queanbeyan.

Mayor Tim Overall says it has been difficult to get solid data on the extent of the problem.

“While some homes have been cleaned up over the years by home owners, home owners are under no obligation to tell council about their properties and we don’t have exact numbers,” he said.

Mr Overall says there are measures in place to clean up any remaining asbestos in homes but the responsibility lies with the owners.

“If you’re intending to buy a house built before the 1980s then you need to check as part of the building inspection for loose-fill asbestos, as well as asbestos cement sheeting,” he said.

“It’s absolutely necessary those checks are made.”

But the NSW Department of Health says asbestos in Queanbeyan homes will have virtually no impact on the wellbeing of people living in them.

The department says the presence of asbestos would affect around 1 in 100,000 people, as long as it is left undisturbed.

Continued:

A decade on: Queanbeyan still left with asbestos mess