The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, along with the Department of Justice, recently announced that the former supervisor of a Maryland asbestos removal company has pleaded guilty to the improper removal of asbestos at a naval air facility in that state.
An article in Associated Content states that Robert Langill, now of Massachusetts, faces up to five years in prison and $25,000 in fines for improperly removing asbestos panels from buildings at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station back in 2003.
According to U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, “Robert Langill intentionally violated federal work practice standards established to protect people and the environment from harmful exposure to asbestos. We will continue to prosecute individuals who violate the very laws that they are entrusted to comply with.”
Langill was acting as supervisor when a Maryland asbestos removal company for which he worked was charged with the task of removing transite panels from three buildings at the Naval Air Station. According to records and statements by employees, Langill instructed workers to smash the panels with hammers and crowbars, which subsequently caused the release of dangerous airborne asbestos fibers.
Officials say the panels were not “adequately wet” enough to prevent the release of asbestos dust and fibers and also noted that the broken panels were placed in bags and left unsealed and unlabeled in a company truck overnight. Not labeling waste that contains asbestos is another violation of EPA standards for safe removal.
Langill committed a further violation by not reporting the asbestos abatement project to the Maryland Department of the Environment before beginning.