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Saturday, April 5, 2014

EPA inks pair of settlements with Department of Energy and contractors over Hanford asbestos handling violations

Today's post was shared by US EPA News and comes from yosemite.epa.gov

 

Release Date: 04/03/2014
Contact Information: Mark MacIntyre/EPA-Seattle 206-553-7302/macintyre.mark@epa.gov

(Seattle, WA – April 2, 2014) The U.S. EPA has signed a pair of consent agreements with the U.S. Department of Energy and two contractors to resolve alleged violations of federal asbestos handling regulations at the Hanford Site near Richland, Washington.

Today’s settlements stem from what EPA determined was improper demolition work performed at the DOE Hanford Site. In August 2012, in response to complaints from Hanford workers, EPA inspected several demolition sites dating back to 2007. Samples collected by EPA showed remaining debris from the demolitions contained regulated asbestos waste.

Work performed at Hanford on behalf of the DOE by contractors Washington Closure Hanford LLC and CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company resulted in penalties of $44,000 and $131,594, respectively. Both contractors agreed to pay all penalties.

According to Ed Kowalski, Director of EPA’s Enforcement Office in Seattle, the results of EPA’s inspection were clear.

“Asbestos was poorly managed here from start to finish,” said Kowalski. “EPA requires all building owners and contractors to remove asbestos before starting any regulated demolition activity which can crush or pulverize asbestos and release dust. At a facility like Hanford, this is especially important to prevent asbestos exposure to anyone working or spending time in the...

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