New Hampshire Companies Fined $90,000 for Illegal Abatement

Two New Hampshire companies that hired unlicensed contractors to carry out asbestos removal have been issued $90,000 in civil penalties for the illegal removal of the toxic material from an industrial building in the city of Dover, New Hampshire

According to an article in Occupational Health and Safety Magazine, the state Department of Environmental Services (DES) learned that unlicensed workers were hired by Kane Management Group LLC to remove asbestos flooring from the building in question. The company hired was not certified in asbestos removal nor was the DES informed about the project, as is mandated by state law. Last year, the attorney general filed an enforcement action against the defendants, which also included 85 Industrial Park II, LLC.

Under the terms of a settlement approved by the Strafford County Superior Court, Kane will pay $90,000 in civil penalties, $10,000 of which will fund air pollution and climate change education and outreach projects at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, New Hampshire.

This case demonstrates the importance of complying with state laws that protect workers, the public and the environment from potential asbestos risks,?said State Attorney General Kelly A. Avotte. ?hile the defendants cooperated in resolving this case, their failure to follow state law on asbestos removal warrants the monetary penalty required under the settlement.?

DES Assistant Commissioner Michael J. Walls added: property owners and building contractors should conduct an asbestos survey before starting any renovation or demolition work. If asbestos is present, it should be removed by trained and licensed abatement contractors. These requirements are meant to prevent release of asbestos fibers into the environment and the exposure of unprotected workers to asbestos-contaminated material.

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