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August 21, 2018

Boulder City bypass gets green light after asbestos testing shows no threat

Image

Nevada Department of Transportation

This artist’s rendering shows what the redesigned interchange of Boulder City Bypass and U.S. 93 would look like at Railroad Pass. Railroad Pass Casino is at left. If U.S. 93 is designated an interstate between Las Vegas and Phoenix, the bypass route would become part of the interstate, officials say.

Click to enlarge photo

This Nevada Department of Transportation graphic shows the route of the proposed Boulder City Bypass.

After a frustrating seven-month delay to allow for hundreds of tests of asbestos-tainted soil, construction of a bypass highway around Boulder City is back on track.

Officials with the Nevada Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada gave the green light after concluding workers could safely cut the highway through the hills around Boulder City because the asbestos, discovered by UNLV geologists in 2011, did not reach harmful levels. Construction is slated to begin in the spring, officials said today.

Asbestos, in strong enough concentrations, can trigger respiratory problems including scarred lungs and, in extreme cases, cancer.

To play it safe, construction zones will be heavily watered to prevent asbestos from becoming airborne and exposing workers. Additionally, there will be continued soil testing and real-time air sampling and, if exposure levels become unacceptable, contactors can halt work and launch additional mitigation, NDOT Project Manager Tony Lorenzi said.

The news “is a relief to everyone,” said Boulder City Mayor Roger Tober. “While initially the asbestos discovery caused alarm, this is just good news. For the levels that are there, there will be some mitigation, but it’s going to be taken care of.”

The $490 million highway project, more than 10 years in the making, would wend around Boulder City so traffic can move smoothly between Las Vegas and Arizona. Until the bypass is built, tourists, truckers and commuters must use U.S. 93, which slices into town where traffic slows miserably on busy days.

The bypass is envisioned as the first link in Interstate 11, a proposed interstate highway connecting Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Testing conducted over the summer confirmed the presence of asbestos but concluded it was not at a threatening level.

The project will be conducted in two phases by NDOT and the RTC. Each agency conducted its own tests to meet their respective regulations.

“Phase 1 is what we are calling clean,” Project Manager Tony Lorenzi said.

The first phase, a 2.5-mile connector starting at U.S. 95 and heading easterly toward the Colorado River, is NDOT”s responsibility. Tests of 150 soil samples showed no asbestos concentrations higher than 0.25 percent, deeming them safe. The second phase — RTC’s 12.5-mile stretch that finishes the bypass to the east — involved testing of 461 samples for concentrations less than 1 percent. Fourteen samples tested above 1 percent.

These concentrations are standard for construction sites where there’s naturally occurring asbestos.

“The most important thing is the comfort of the public,” Lorenzi said. “We want them to know that construction will be done safely, in compliance with every agency. We’re doing it right.”

The asbestos findings will be discussed at an open house from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Elaine K. Smith Center Building, 700 Wyoming St., Boulder City. Representatives from Boulder City, the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, NDOT and the RTC will be there to discuss the project.

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Boulder City bypass gets green light after asbestos testing shows no threat

RPM reaches $797.5 million deal to resolve Bondex asbestos claims

By Tom Hals

July 28 (Reuters) – Rust-Oleum paint maker RPM International Inc on Monday announced a $797.5 million deal to resolve asbestos claims against its Bondex International Inc unit, which filed for protection from creditors in 2010 after mounting personal injury lawsuits.

If the agreement receives court approval, it would end a contentious Chapter 11 bankruptcy in which a judge ruled Bondex should pay about $1.2 billion to resolve asbestos claims. Bondex, which had said it should only pay $135 million, was appealing the ruling.

RPM shares were up 2.8 percent at $45.64 in afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading.

Under the agreement, RPM will provide an initial $450 million in cash to a trust once the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the U.S. District Court in Delaware approve a reorganization plan for Bondex.

RPM, which also makes DAP caulk, would contribute the remaining $347.5 million in cash, stock or a combination of the two within four years after the trust has been established.

All current and future asbestos claims against Bondex and related entities would then be channeled to the trust, according to a Monday statement by Medina, Ohio-based RPM.

Bondex and another RPM unit, Specialty Products Holding Co, filed for bankruptcy in May 2010 in the wake of lawsuits over its asbestos-containing products such as joint compound, which is used in filling drywall gaps.

Bondex and personal injury lawyers clashed over how much money was needed to fund a trust to resolve the asbestos claims.

The lawyers said $1.255 billion was an appropriate amount based on what Bondex paid in past settlements.

Bondex said its liability could not be determined by looking to past settlements because those deals included payments to rid itself of nuisance lawsuits. Without those nuisance payments, the company said, its asbestos liability would have been about $135 million.

Former U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Judith Fitzgerald rejected that argument. She retired shortly after issuing the opinion in May 2013, and Judge Peter Walsh is now overseeing the case.

Monday’s agreement, if the courts approve it, would head off a federal appeals court’s potentially binding ruling on Bondex’s approach to estimating liability.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can cause deadly cancers, including mesothelioma. Scores of companies have filed for bankruptcy and collectively paid tens of billions of dollars to set up trusts to resolve personal injury lawsuits involving asbestos.

RPM said it expected the contributions to the trust to be tax-deductible, and it estimated the after-tax net present value of its contributions at about $485 million.

The case is Special Products Holding Corp, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 10-11780.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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RPM reaches $797.5 million deal to resolve Bondex asbestos claims

Demolition company fined for dumping asbestos waste

Demolition company fined for dumping asbestos waste

Published: 11:45AM Thursday May 15, 2014 Source: ONE News

  • Asbestos waste (Source: Supplied)

    Asbestos waste – Source: Supplied

A demolition and digger hire company has been fined $67,687 for illegally disposing of asbestos-contaminated demolition waste and clearing native vegetation.

The charges relate to illegal activities at the defendant’s property, including disposing of demolition waste containing asbestos in April last year, clearing native vegetation in a special ecological area and illegal filling between August 2010 and April last year.

The prosecution was brought jointly by Tauranga City Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the affected site is now listed with both councils as contaminated.

In 2013 the two councils both received complaints about demolition material containing asbestos being taken from a church demolition site in Fraser Street to the Grange Road site bordering the reserve. The demolition work was being carried out by C Side Services, a company owned by Stephen Craig Walling.

Samples dug up at the Grange Road site owned by ‘C’ Side Services tested positive for white, brown and blue asbestos, and Mr Walling was issued an abatement notice to stop work. He said he was putting clean-fill, dirt and concrete onto the property to form a driveway to a house site and to create a grassed garden area with exotic palms. He said he had taken 15 truckloads of demolition waste from the church to the Grange Road site and had also allowed two other contractors to deposit concrete and dirt there.

A total of 372 square metres of the Special Ecological Area and its five metre buffer zone had been cleared of vegetation and a concluded that material containing asbestos at the site posed an immediate and long-term risk to human health if no management controls were put in place.

The fines include $22,687 for asbestos disposal, $22,000 for clearing the special ecological area and $23,000 for illegal filling. The defendant is also required to re-vegetate the area and remediate the contaminated land.

    Copyright © 2014, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand

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    Demolition company fined for dumping asbestos waste

    ADAO Announces 2014 Honorees and Keynote Speakers for 2014 Conference

    LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

    The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the largest independent non-profit organization in the U.S. which combines education, advocacy, and community to help ensure justice for asbestos victims, today announced the honorees and keynote speakers for its upcoming 10th Annual Asbestos Awareness Conference to be held April 4-6 in Washington, DC.

    “Since 2005, ADAO conferences have recognized more than 70 internationally renowned honorees and keynote speakers whose voices and actions have been critically important to ending the man-made asbestos disaster,” stated ADAO Co-Founder and President Linda Reinstein. “As in the past, many on this year’s esteemed list also include courageous patients giving selfless hours of their time to help build a global community of support and hope.”

    2014 Asbestos Awareness Conference Keynote Speakers Include:

    • Saturday: Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris Lushniak, Acting U.S. Surgeon General
    • Sunday: Sue Vento, Widow of the late Congressman Bruce Vento
    • Sunday: Heather Von St. James, Mesothelioma Patient

    2014 Asbestos Awareness Conference Honorees Include:

    • Congressman Henry Waxman will be presented with the Tribute of Hope Award for his steadfast commitment to public health and safety. *via video
    • Congressman Bruce Vento will be honored posthumously with the Warren Zevon “Keep me in Your Heart” Memorial Tribute for his countless years of public service as a legislator and public servant.
    • Dr. David Egilman will be recognized with the Dr. Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his tireless dedication to increasing awareness about asbestos to eliminate diseases and his unending support of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.
    • Dr. Ken Takahashi will be recognized with the Dr. Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his tireless dedication to increasing awareness about asbestos to eliminate diseases and his unending support of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.
    • Bill Ravanesi will be presented with the Tribute of Inspiration Award for his untiring efforts to protect workers’ rights and seek justice for asbestos sufferers and their families.
    • National Association for the Defense of Asbestos Victims (ANDEVA) will receive the Tribute of Unity Award for its relentless efforts, both nationally and internationally, to protect workers’ occupational safety and health.
    • Janelle Bedel, who tragically lost her battle with mesothelioma in 2013, will be recognized posthumously with the Alan Reinstein Award for her commitment to education, advocacy, and support to countless patients and families.
    • Heather Von St. James, a mesothelioma patient, will be recognized with the Alan Reinstein Award for her commitment to education, advocacy, and support to countless patients and families.
    • Lou Williams, a mesothelioma patient, will be recognized with the Alan Reinstein Award for her commitment to education, advocacy, and support to countless patients and families.

    2014 ADAO Asbestos Awareness Conference Special Recognition Honorees:

    • Michael Bradley, a mesothelioma patient, will receive the 2014 Special Recognition of Valor Award for his unwavering commitment to serving as a role model of bravery and unity.
    • Platinum Sponsors
      • Motley Rice LLC
      • Simmons Law Firm
      • Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, P.C.
    • Silver Sponsor
      • Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney and Meisenkothen

    Despite its known dangers, there is still no global ban on asbestos, and it continues to claim lives. Exposure to asbestos, a human carcinogen, can cause mesothelioma, lung, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers; as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders. The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers around the world will die every year of an asbestos-related disease, equaling 300 deaths per day.

    About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
    The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO is the largest non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to providing asbestos victims and concerned citizens with a united voice through our education, advocacy, and community initiatives. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.

    Contact:

    Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

    Kim Cecchini

    Media Relations

    202-391-5205


    Kim@asbestosdiseaseawareness.org

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    ADAO Announces 2014 Honorees and Keynote Speakers for 2014 Conference

    Willow Grove man charged with illegal asbestos removal

    David Mermelstein, 53, of Elkins Park, was indicted Aug. 27 following a grand jury investigation on five counts of illegal removal of asbestos, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia.

    In April 2001, Mermelstein, who owns a business in Willow Grove, purchased a large, old furniture warehouse in Northeast Philadelphia, which he operated under the name of Red, White and Black Furniture, at 10175 Northeast Ave., according to the indictment. Insulated pipes that ran throughout the building were covered with insulation made of or containing asbestos, it says.

    The indictment alleges that from September 2009 through April, 2010, after learning the cost of proper asbestos removal, Mermelstein hired day laborers instead of licensed asbestos contractors to remove asbestos from the commercial property. Mermelstein directed the removal of asbestos by these laborers without telling them they were removing asbestos and without proper safety equipment and “in a manner that did not comply with asbestos work practice standards” required by federal law, the indictment says.

    If convicted, Mermelstein faces a maximum possible sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a fine of $1.25 million.

    The case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Philadelphia’s Air Management Services. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Virgil B. Walker and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Miller.

    David Mermelstein, 53, of Elkins Park, was indicted Aug. 27 following a grand jury investigation on five counts of illegal removal of asbestos, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia.

    In April 2001, Mermelstein, who owns a business in Willow Grove, purchased a large, old furniture warehouse in Northeast Philadelphia, which he operated under the name of Red, White and Black Furniture, at 10175 Northeast Ave., according to the indictment. Insulated pipes that ran throughout the building were covered with insulation made of or containing asbestos, it says.

    The indictment alleges that from September 2009 through April, 2010, after learning the cost of proper asbestos removal, Mermelstein hired day laborers instead of licensed asbestos contractors to remove asbestos from the commercial property. Mermelstein directed the removal of asbestos by these laborers without telling them they were removing asbestos and without proper safety equipment and “in a manner that did not comply with asbestos work practice standards” required by federal law, the indictment says.

    If convicted, Mermelstein faces a maximum possible sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a fine of $1.25 million.

    The case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Philadelphia’s Air Management Services. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Virgil B. Walker and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Miller.

    Continued:  

    Willow Grove man charged with illegal asbestos removal