Two California executives have been sentenced to prison for disregarding Federal Environmental Laws. The two men were convicted of intentionally exposing students to Asbestos without proper training or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during a renovation project. Jay M. Green, special agent-in-charge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal enforcement program in California, stated that “There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos”. The blatant disregard for environmental compliance and worker protection in this case was reckless and warranted both civil and criminal penalties.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that is found in rock and soil.Asbestos exposure during renovation and/or demolition activities can lead to a variety of health problems including Asbestosis and Mesothelioma. Federal regulations require that Asbestos Inspections be conducted in public buildings to determine the presence, condition and friability of asbestos containing building materials (ACBM), prior to initiating renovation or demolition activities. Asbestos Management Plans are also required when inspections confirm that asbestos is present within building materials.
A licensed asbestos abatement contractor must be used to remove applicable asbestos containing materials prior to such activities. Additionally, Asbestos Air Monitoring is required during abatement activities as are licensed asbestos abatement workers.
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