DEQ Fines Homeowner for Improper Asbestos Removal

The New York Department of Environmental Quality has fined an Albany woman more than $8,000 for allowing an unlicensed individual to perform asbestos abatement at a home she owns in the state’s capital.

According to an article in the Albany Democrat Herald, the fine of $8,417 was levied in early January against Wanda Fay Scheler in regards to work done at a rental property she owns at 3755 Knox Butte Road.

“In August 2007, she reportedly hired two workers for a renovation project and they removed about 293 square feet of siding that was put into trash bags and placed into dumpsters. They also removed an old stovepipe that included insulation tape,” the article points out.

An inspection by the DEQ on August 16th revealed “pieces of siding waste scattered along the sides of the residence” and inspectors saw that the insulation tape on the old stove pipe was in “very poor condition.”

Samples taken from the site and analyzed in a laboratory showed that the siding waste contained 10 percent chrysotile (white) asbestos and the insulation tape contained 50 percent. The DEQ regulates handling and disposal of any materials that contain more than 1 percent asbestos.

The DEQ inspectors also noted that workers broke the siding while removing it from the home, creating a scenario which could include the release of small asbestos fibers into the air. The insulation tape was in a friable state as well.

The DEQ also charged that the workers did not “properly label and package the friable ACWM (asbestos containing waste material) generated by the renovation project in leak-tight containers.”

Scheler plans to ask for another hearing, claiming that the project was supposed to be painting only, but the workers “pulled off a few shingles at the top of the house.”

Leave a Reply