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October 20, 2018

Tascot carpet factory asbestos removal questioned

Asbestos-tainted dirt leaves Dania for landfill near Coconut Creek

DANIA BEACHThe delicate task of removing asbestos-tainted dirt from a construction staging area near the airport began Monday.

The first truck rolled out shortly before 3 p.m., headed for Waste Management’s Monarch Hill landfill near Coconut Creek. The entire job could take up to three weeks, said Greg Meyer, spokesman for the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Cherokee Enterprises Inc., the Miami Lakes company handling the job, will transport an estimated 50,000 cubic tons of dirt and other construction materials when all is said and done.

Test results confirmed the dirt contained traces of asbestos last week, Meyer said. The toxic material can cause mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer linked to asbestos.

Airport officials say the asbestos found at the staging area does not pose a health risk because it is not the kind that can become airborne. But as a precaution, the entire pile of dirt is being trucked away to a landfill, where officials say the material will be properly contained.

Five loads of material were removed Monday and another 20 loads were hauled off as of 10 a.m. Tuesday, Meyer said.

That’s good news to nearby homeowners.

For months, residents in the nearby Melaleuca Gardens neighborhood have complained about all the dust stirred up by an airport contractor using the site near U.S. Highway 1 and Griffin Road as a staging area. The contractor, Tutor Perini, is expected to finish the job revamping Terminal 4 in 2018.

Rae Sandler, president of the Melaleuca Gardens Homeowners Association, said some residents have developed a chronic cough from all the dust. Others have suffered headaches and asthma attacks, she said.

“It’s no longer a staging area,” Sandler said. “It’s a dump. They are hauling stuff out of there and hauling it here and pulverizing it. It’s mostly dirt, piles and piles of dirt. And now we find out there’s asbestos in there.”

Sandler said the homeowners association plans to hire a private company to test the dirt and soot that’s been landing on residents’ doorsteps and window sills.

Dania Beach officials alerted state and federal officials on Thursday after taking a tour of the site and spotting signs warning of asbestos contamination.

An inspector with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection showed up Friday to make sure crews were keeping the dirt wet so it would not become airborne. The entire site is fenced off and only workers wearing proper gear are allowed to enter.

Airport officials are not yet sure how much the job will cost, Meyer said.

Broward County Mayor Tim Ryan said the asbestos is embedded in old floor tiles buried long ago on airport property near Terminal 4. The material was recently dug up and trucked from airport grounds to the staging area, where it tested positive for asbestos, Ryan said.

The material was tested at the county’s request because it looked different from the other material at the site, Meyer said.

sbryan@sunsentinel.com or 954-356-4554

Copyright © 2015, Sun Sentinel

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Asbestos-tainted dirt leaves Dania for landfill near Coconut Creek

Asbestos Work At Enfield High Confuses Parents, Who Say They Weren't Notified

ENFIELD – Parents of students at Enfield High School were confused Monday when they heard that portions of the school would be blocked off so construction crews could begin scheduled asbestos removal.

According to Superintendent Jeffrey Schumann, a letter from his office was distributed to parents of Enfield High students and school staff on Dec. 23, outlining construction work related to asbestos removal that would begin on Jan. 2, as part of the ongoing renovation at the high school.

Some parents took to Facebook, asking Mayor Scott Kaupin why they weren’t notified.

Ken Kaufman, who has a daughter at Enfield High School, said he found out about the asbestos work when his daughter’s boyfriend, who is on the wrestling team, told her they moved their practice and that the school was boarded up.

“I haven’t heard anything about the asbestos cleanup to this day,” Kaufman said Wednesday. “We get these robo-calls for the upcoming school play or something to that effect, but something as serious as this, they still haven’t told anyone about it or haven’t had the time to put something together for parents.”

Another Enfield High School parent, Lindsay Caouette, said she wasn’t notified either.

“At this point, there has still been no communication home regarding the work being done with our children in the school, which is concerning to me,” Caouette said.

Three locations, according to the letter, will be blocked off for asbestos abatement: the cafeteria, girls locker room and lower-level kitchen and mechanical spaces.

Parents were further confused when they received communication that the asbestos removal was due to a burst pipe in the “A” wing of the school.

Schumann said that a pipe did leak on the third floor of the “A” wing and caused flooding on the first, second and third floors. When the tiles on those floors began to dry, he said, crews noticed that the tiles — vinyl asbestos tiles — started to lift off the floor. If they cracked, Schumann said, “that could have been a dangerous situation.”

Schumann said the crews that were already at the school to remove the asbestos in the three previously scheduled areas worked on the worked on the areas affected by the flooding instead.

Schumann said a hard copy of the letter was distributed to students on Dec. 23, and teachers and staff were notified.

Due to the ongoing work, an updated letter will go home with students Thursday, Schumann said. The dates of the work have altered due to the burst pipe, Schumann said. The updated letter will also be posted on the school website, he said, and parents were to receive a phone call Wednesday night.

Copyright © 2015, Hartford Courant

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Asbestos Work At Enfield High Confuses Parents, Who Say They Weren't Notified

Feds say cleanup of Montana mining town working

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A long-delayed risk study released Monday for a Montana mining town where hundreds of people have died from asbestos poisoning concludes cleanup practices now in place are reducing risks to residents.

However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged there is no way to remove all the asbestos from the area and inhaling even a minute amount could cause lung problems.

The 328-page draft document will be used to guide the remaining cleanup of asbestos dust stemming from a W.R. Grace & Co. vermiculite mine outside Libby, a town of 2,600 people about 50 miles south of the Canada border.

The scenic mountain community has become synonymous with asbestos dangers. Health workers estimate 400 people have been killed and more than 2,000 sickened in Libby and the surrounding area.

Dozens of sites across the U.S. received or processed vermiculite from Libby’s mine, which was used as insulation in millions of homes.

The EPA study used lung scarring — not just cancer deaths — to help determine how much danger asbestos poses to people who remain in Libby, where the contaminated vermiculite had been widely used in homes, as construction fill, and for other purposes before its dangers were known.

The EPA already has conducted cleanup work on more than 2,000 homes, businesses and other properties in the Libby area at a cost of roughly $500 million.

Concentrations of asbestos in the air around town is now 100,000 times lower than when the mine was operating from 1963 to 1990, the EPA said.

Those levels could be higher at the mine site — where cleanup work has barely started — and in areas where property owners have not given access to EPA contractors, the agency said.

“Where EPA has conducted cleanup, those cleanups are effective,” said Rebecca Thomas, EPA project manager in Libby.

She added that there will be some residual contamination left behind but only in places where officials determine there’s no threat of human exposure.

“As long as no one’s exposed to it, it doesn’t pose a risk and we’ll leave it in place,” Thomas said.

W.R. Grace and industry groups have criticized the EPA’s low threshold for exposure as unjustified and impossible to attain. They said the EPA limit was lower than naturally occurring asbestos levels in some places.

The criticism was one of the factors that delayed the risk study. In a report last year, the EPA’s inspector general said internal agency issues including contracting problems and unanticipated work also contributed to the delay.

W.R. Grace was “pleased to see EPA believes it has effectively managed the health risk to acceptable levels,” said Rich Badmington, a spokesman for the Columbia, Maryland-based chemical company

Still, the company believes the EPA’s threshold for exposure is too low, he said.

The town remains under a first-of-its kind public health emergency declaration issued by former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson in 2009.

Cleanup work is pending for as many as 500 homes and businesses in Libby and nearby Troy. Completing that work will take three to five years, Thomas said.

Because of the long latency period for asbestos-related diseases, it could be many years before some people in Libby develop medical complications.

Libby Mayor Doug Roll said moving forward with the study was critical for the tourism- and mining-dependent town. Roll said Libby wants to overcome its image of a poisoned community.

“Grace was the stumbling block, trying to put a bunch of their input into it,” Roll said. “We’re trying to get out from underneath this cloud and start promoting Libby as a place you can come and visit — and not worry about the air quality.”

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Feds say cleanup of Montana mining town working

Study of Montana Mining Town Says Cleanup Working

A long-delayed risk study released Monday for a Montana mining town where hundreds of people have died from asbestos poisoning concludes cleanup practices now in place are reducing risks to residents.

However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged there is no way to remove all the asbestos from the area and inhaling even a minute amount could cause lung problems.

The 328-page draft document will be used to guide the remaining cleanup of asbestos dust stemming from a W.R. Grace & Co. vermiculite mine outside Libby, a town of 2,600 people about 50 miles south of the Canada border.

The scenic mountain community has become synonymous with asbestos dangers. Health workers estimate 400 people have been killed and more than 2,000 sickened in Libby and the surrounding area.

Dozens of sites across the U.S. received or processed vermiculite from Libby’s mine, which was used as insulation in millions of homes.

The EPA study used lung scarring ? not just cancer deaths ? to help determine how much danger asbestos poses to people who remain in Libby, where the contaminated vermiculite had been widely used in homes, as construction fill, and for other purposes before its dangers were known.

The EPA already has conducted cleanup work on more than 2,000 homes, businesses and other properties in the Libby area at a cost of roughly $500 million.

Concentrations of asbestos in the air around town is now 100,000 times lower than when the mine was operating from 1963 to 1990, the EPA said.

Those levels could be higher at the mine site ? where cleanup work has barely started ? and in areas where property owners have not given access to EPA contractors, the agency said.

“Where EPA has conducted cleanup, those cleanups are effective,” said Rebecca Thomas, EPA project manager in Libby.

She added that there will be some residual contamination left behind but only in places where officials determine there’s no threat of human exposure.

“As long as no one’s exposed to it, it doesn’t pose a risk and we’ll leave it in place,” Thomas said.

W.R. Grace and industry groups have criticized the EPA’s low threshold for exposure as unjustified and impossible to attain. They said the EPA limit was lower than naturally occurring asbestos levels in some places.

The criticism was one of the factors that delayed the risk study. In a report last year, the EPA’s inspector general said internal agency issues including contracting problems and unanticipated work also contributed to the delay.

W.R. Grace was “pleased to see EPA believes it has effectively managed the health risk to acceptable levels,” said Rich Badmington, a spokesman for the Columbia, Maryland-based chemical company

Still, the company believes the EPA’s threshold for exposure is too low, he said.

The town remains under a first-of-its kind public health emergency declaration issued by former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson in 2009.

Cleanup work is pending for as many as 500 homes and businesses in Libby and nearby Troy. Completing that work will take three to five years, Thomas said.

Because of the long latency period for asbestos-related diseases, it could be many years before some people in Libby develop medical complications.

Libby Mayor Doug Roll said moving forward with the study was critical for the tourism- and mining-dependent town. Roll said Libby wants to overcome its image of a poisoned community.

“Grace was the stumbling block, trying to put a bunch of their input into it,” Roll said. “We’re trying to get out from underneath this cloud and start promoting Libby as a place you can come and visit ? and not worry about the air quality.”

Original article:

Study of Montana Mining Town Says Cleanup Working

NSW launches investigation of 'Mr Fluffy' asbestos

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For the 13 homes already identified, authorities will conduct detailed testing, including air monitoring and possibly asking householders to wear monitors to test the air they are breathing as they go about day-to-day tasks in their homes.

Owners of homes built before 1980 in the 14 local government areas will be able to request a free assessment over the next 12 months, to have their ceilings checked for asbestos insulation.

The chairman of the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities, Peter Dunphy, said the testing offer might well be taken up by thousands of households, but he didn’t expect to find widespread use of the insulation.

“So far we don’t think this going to be very widespread,” he said. “We’re not really anticipating a much bigger number than we’ve already encountered, but we’ll wait to see what comes out of the investigation and what comes out of the samples that come forward.”

He conceded that some homeowners with the insulation might not come forward, but said authorities could not force themselves into people’s homes. They hoped that by offering free assessments they would encourage anyone who suspected the presence of the material to make contact.

Mr Dunphy said the Canberra experience showed removing it had not been effective (the asbestos was removed from the Canberra homes 20 years ago, but fibres have now been found in walls and elsewhere), so containment or demolition were the options facing NSW.

The survey area is highly selective. It doesn’t include all south-eastern areas, but covers the Geater Hume, Berrigan and Wagga Wagga council areas near the Victorian border, the Bega Valley, Snowy River, Cooma Monaro and Eurobodalla council areas on the south coast and the Snowy Mountains, the Palerang (including Braidwood and Bungendore), Queanbeyan, Yass Valley and Goulburn councils around Canberra, the Young council area further west, and Ku-ring-gai and North Sydney councils.

Asked how the areas were chosen, NSW authorities said the decision was made on the basis of information provided by the ACT.

An investigator will be appointed to trawl through state and local government records and follow up anecdotal information to track down any evidence of Mr Fluffy or other loose-fill asbestos companies installing the material in other homes in the 14 areas.

It is clear Mr Fluffy operated outside Canberra, and NSW Health believes a company other than Mr Fluffy may have been operating in the south-west of the state – although this could also have been an offshoot of the Canberra-based company run by Dirk Jansen, colloquially known as Mr Fluffy.

A federal government report from 1968 refers to Sydney company Bowsers Asphalt installing the product over 13 years, but authorities believe Bowsers was using a sprayed form of asbestos as a fire retardant in commercial buildings.

Anecdotal reports suggest the material might have been used in Wollongong in the 1970s, but Wollongong is not part of the survey area.

Mr Perrottet would not reveal the cost of the survey, testing and investigation, but confirmed it was being paid by the NSW government.

Mr Dunphy said similar testing of affected homes had been done in 1993, including monitoring the air householders were breathing over eight hours, and it had not found asbestos levels higher than control houses.

Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall welcomed the announcement as a step in the right direction. He has suggested as many as 60 homes in Queanbeyan could contain the asbestos, based on the proportion of Canberra homes affected, and said he hoped the new investigation would identify all affected properties.

Yass council director of planning and environment Chris Berry said the news was welcome, allowing residents to have their homes checked.

“At least then people know, rather than at the present time when they’re completely in the dark about whether they have a problem or they don’t have a problem,” he said. “The challenge is if there is a problem how do you manage that problem with that particular family.”

Yass council has written to the single house it knows of this week, alerting the owner to the presence of the insulation.











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NSW launches investigation of 'Mr Fluffy' asbestos

Council to give asbestos DIY advice


Council to give asbestos DIY advice


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Last updated 05:00 04/08/2014

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Do-it-yourself homeowners will be targeted by a new campaign aimed at encouraging the safe removal of building materials containing asbestos.

Christchurch City Council inspections and enforcement unit manager Anne Columbus said that in the past authorities had been reluctant to provide information to homeowners on how to safely remove asbestos because they did not want to encourage them to remove it themselves, but this was happening anyway because it was expensive to get professionals to remove it.

The joint agency Waste and Environmental Management Team (Wemt) set up to manage the mountain of waste generated by the quakes had now decided to change tack and were in the process of pulling together information for homeowners on how they could manage their own asbestos removal.

“The message now is if you are going to do it, do it the right way and do the right thing,” Columbus told the council’s environment committee.

She said a new dedicated website would go live where DIY people would be able to get detailed advice on how to remove asbestos safely and how to dispose of it. It was part of a new community education campaign supported by Worksafe New Zealand and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

Cr David East said the problem was not just disposing of asbestos in building materials, but also disposing of soil contaminated with asbestos.

On the former Queen Elizabeth II site, for example, there were three or four large piles of asbestos-contaminated soil. Although it technically posed little risk to the community, there was a perception among nearby residents that it could pose a health hazard.

“What is the longer-term strategy for getting rid of contaminated soil? There must be thousands of cubic metres of it?” East said.

Environment Canterbury programme manager Don Chittock acknowledged the disposal of contaminated soil was an issue and said solutions were being sought.

“We have a meeting tomorrow with Transwaste [which operates the Kate Valley landfill] to discuss disposal options . . . we’re working with the industry to provide solutions,” Chittock said.

The environment committee decided to ask for more information on the removal and disposal of asbestos-contaminated soil. It also voted unanimously to ask the council to write to the minister of building innovation and employment in support of a ban on the importation of materials containing asbestos.


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Council to give asbestos DIY advice

Bid to stop illegal asbestos dumping

Ohio company faces actions on asbestos, taxes

Ohio company faces actions on asbestos, taxes

Jan. 09, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

SOUTH POINT, Ohio — The Portsmouth Local Air Agency has issued a notice of violation concerning the handling of asbestos at the South Point Biomass Generation property in the South Point area.

Meanwhile, the office of Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson is preparing to file a foreclosure action against the 88-acre Biomass property, saying the company has not paid county taxes for the past three years. The property is not in the village of South Point, but is surrounded by The Point, a 500-acre industrial park which is in the village limits.

“They owe $27,000 in back taxes,” Anderson said. “We’ll be filing the foreclosure action this month.”

More than a dozen years ago, Biomass officials proposed building a multimillion-dollar generating plant to produce electricity at the site. The plant was to burn wood waste. No such plant has ever been built, and on several occasions county officials have filed suit seeking back taxes on the property.

The Portsmouth Local Air Agency, which handles air quality issues for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, received a complaint last fall about how Biomass employees were handling asbestos fibers during a demolition metal scrapping work being done on the third floor of the power house building.

Samples of suspect regulated asbestos-containing materials were observed at several locations in the building on Oct. 22, and analysis confirmed that friable regulated asbestos-containing materials were found at the site, according to the notice of violation. Two partial adjacent buildings to the power house building also had been demolished and removed, according to the notice.

“A notice of violation was issued,” said Cindy Charles, director of the Portsmouth Local Air Agency which covers Lawrence, Scioto, Brown and Adams counties. “It’s an ongoing investigation, and I can’t comment further.”

Mark Harris, Biomass owner, couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

“This was reported by a private citizen,” said South Point Mayor Ron West. “The property isn’t located in the village, but it does concern us. Apparently they have stopped doing it.”

Biomass failed to notify the proper agency before the demolition work in a building containing asbestos, according to the notice of violation. State regulations require the asbestos to be removed from a building prior to demolition, and that wasn’t done at the power plant building, according to the notice of violation.

“It was observed that the contractor was not using water to control dust from the mechanical demolition activities,” according to the notice of violation. “The contractor was observed demolishing/scrapping in the power house building at the South Point Generation Biomass facility without using water spray to control visible emissions being created by the demolition activities.”

The materials were being placed in an open and unlined roll-off box, another violation, according to the notice.

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Ohio company faces actions on asbestos, taxes

Emerson has cabinets containing asbestos removed

The Borough of Emerson had filing cabinets containing asbestos removed from borough hall in August, months after borough employees first expressed concern that they may have been emitting clouds of dust containing fibers of the cancer-causing material.

Clerk Carol Dray reported rumors of asbestos contamination in April, according to borough records. Borough Administrator Joseph Scarpa contacted Joint Insurance Fund (JIF), the borough’s insurance company, approximately three months later to ask for the name of an asbestos contractor to conduct tests.

“The question begs to be asked: Why did he wait until July to take any action…?” Dray inquired in an email to members of the governing body.

When asked, Scarpa gave no explanation for the lapse in time between when he received complaints about possible asbestos contamination and when he took action on the issue.

In a press statement Scarpa said, “I continue to believe that any of this asbestos information should not have been released by the borough clerk in the first place, as this is still clearly an open matter that involves the elements of personnel, potential litigation and HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act] protections. The governing body recently saw fit to take the drastic measure of censuring a council colleague for supposedly releasing basically the same type of information… I will not elaborate on this matter anymore… out of fear of personal reprisal from the mayor and council, and because I believe it is not in the best interest of the borough.”

Purchased in 2009, the refurbished fire-proof cabinets showed visible deterioration, explained Mayor Carlos Colina in an interview. Detail Associates, Inc., an environmental engineering firm certified by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Department of Health, confirmed the presence of asbestos in the suspect cabinets and on documents inside them.

“It was the administrator’s role to address that. Why did it take him that long to take action?” Colina asked. “The positive test results and finding of asbestos fibers… was important enough to take action on an immediate basis.”

Following initial testing in mid- July, Stephen Jaraczewski, president of Detail Associates, Inc., explained that “Proper removal is highly recommended.” Nearly 20 days later, Best Removal Inc. Asbestos Removal Contractors & Consultants rid Borough Hall of the cabinets on Aug. 5.

Scarpa said to his knowledge there is no asbestos remaining in Borough Hall.

Although the cabinets reportedly discharged “poofs” of dust, air samples in Borough Hall tested in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency standards, according to an email from Jaraczewski to the borough.

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Emerson has cabinets containing asbestos removed