Seven parties, including multiple companies and the Town of Framingham, recently paid $385,000 in fines to settle a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General in which it was alleged that the parties allowed asbestos-containing waste to be illegally dumped behind a Milford home in 2009.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit alleged that a sewer project in Framingham led to the discovery of asbestos-containing sewer pipe on the jobsite. Instead of following proper removal procedures mandated by the Commonwealth, the contractors instead illegally removed the sewer pipe, failed to properly dispose of the sewer pipe, and failed to properly remove asbestos-containing waste from the jobsite. In addition, the lawsuit alleged that one of the contractors and the owner of a disposal site located behind a home in Milford attempted to hide evidence of the improper debris disposal from the Commonwealth. After learning that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection had secured a search warrant for the disposal site, the owner of the site and one of the contractors removed the asbestos-containing waste from the debris pile, put it in buckets, and tried to hide the buckets in a garage located on the disposal site property. After the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection discovered the hidden asbestos-containing materials in the garage, the materials were removed from the garage and stored at another facility without notifying the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has strict laws regarding safe removal of asbestos-containing materials from jobsites, monitoring the jobsites to ensure that proper procedures are followed, disposing of the materials, and notifying the Commonwealth of the location of the materials. Various violations in all of these processes led to the penalties in this case.
As this latest example of the Attorney General cracking down on the safe handling and disposal of asbestos-containing materials shows, contractors, landlords, and property owners alike must be absolutely sure that they are adhering to the regulations regarding safe handling practices for asbestos. CMBG3 Law LLC has represented clients in toxic torts matters, especially with respect to asbestos, for many years. We provide the most current legal advice to our clients by staying on top of developments in science, medicine, and regulations regarding a wide variety of substances and products used by consumers every day. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact John Gardella (email him or 617-936-4353, ext. 204).