Bay Area Air Quality Management District collects its largest
By Angela Hokanson, Bay City News Service
June 28, 2006
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced Tuesday
the largest fines the agency has ever collected for asbestos violations.
The fines, totaling nearly half a million dollars, are the result
of the settlement of two separate civil cases.
In the first case, two property management companies will pay
a $300,000 civil penalty for multiple incidents in which employees
that were untrained and uncertified removed asbestos ceiling materials
from an apartment complex in Concord, according to the Air District.
The employees did not take precautions to protect themselves or
the building's residents from asbestos, the Air District reported.
In a separate case, two other companies -- one of which is based
out of Hayward -- paid a penalty of $130,000 for doing asbestos
abatement work without first notifying the Air District.
One of the companies, Synergy Enterprises, Inc. did more than
250 asbestos jobs between June 2002 and August 2003 without properly
notifying the Air District as is required by law. The Air District
received nearly $60,000 in back notification fees as well as the
$130,000 in penalties for the violations.
"The Air District's role is to enforce standards that protect
public health,'' said Air District Executive Officer Jack Broadbent.
"Significant penalties demonstrate that the Air District
is serious about prosecuting asbestos abatement contractors and
property owners and managers who fail to comply with the Air District's
regulations concerning abatement,'' Broadbent said.
Asbestos is an air pollutant that can cause serious health problems
such as lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural plaques, according
to the Air District.
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