|June 26, 2014|
Previously published on June 18, 2014
The Environmental Protection Agency has implemented several laws pertaining to asbestos and the way that it should be handled by certified individuals, but those laws are not always abided by. Recently, a Boise, Idaho-based company violated these laws by contaminating sixteen sites with asbestos materials.
In efforts to remove aging and undersized pipes in Orofino, ID, Owyhee Construction ran into cement asbestos pipes and moved them above ground, where airborne asbestos fibers could pollute the surrounding area. The company's on-site manager and foreman pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act. They were also sentenced to six months in prison.
The EPA spent $3.9 million cleaning up the sixteen sites contaminated by Owyhee Construction, yet the company is only being fined $100,000. The federal government is also seeking almost $3,000,000 from state entities to pay for the clean up, as well.
Do you think the construction company was held accountable enough for their actions? Deadly exposure to asbestos could have been avoided if the EPA and OSHA's guidelines had been followed, but employers all over the country willingly break the law when it comes to handling the substance.