Asbestos Debris Plagues Neighborhood for Two Years

A Cheyenne, Wyoming neighborhood is finally seeing their nightmare end as a lot full of friable asbestos debris is cleaned up after more than two years of complaints by local residents.

According to an article in the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, asbestos fragments were discovered on the lot in 2006 but authorities disagreed with residents as to whether the asbestos was or was not a hazard.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took air samples to measure the asbestos concentration in December 2006, but officials declared that the material was not friable,” the article states. When asbestos becomes friable, it is easily crumbled and can release toxic fibers into the air, which can be inhaled by those in the vicinity.

Neighbors then hired their own consultant, who determined that there was indeed friable material at the site. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality was called in next and their representatives also found friable asbestos on the property. At that point, The Solid and Hazardous Waste Division administrator contacted the Joska and Kornegay Family Trust, the owners of the land, and requested a written plan of removal and disposal.

“They stepped up and decided to do something about it,” said neighbor Terry Chapman.

The article notes that the property could not be cited with a zoning violation because when the area was zoned in the 1970s, the property was grandfathered under a non-conforming use for dumping construction debris. That angered many neighbors who viewed the site as a health hazard.

The clean-up is estimated to take three or four days and produce 40 truckloads of material, much of which will contain asbestos.

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