An Oregon man’s asbestos case will continue into 2010, according to a late November report. Dan Desler has been charged with crimes related to asbestos air pollution, and Judge Rick McCormick has decided to continue the case starting on January 11, 2010.
Desler and his company, Western States Land Reliance Trust, have been fined by the state Department of Environmental Quality over asbestos violations at a site in Sweet Home, Oregon. Asbestos exposure is linked to the development of mesothelioma, a cancer which affects less than 3,000 Americans each year. The disease typically lies dormant for up to fifty years before an individual begins to suffer from mesothelioma symptoms. There is no cure.
Desler was arrested in April of this year on multiple felony air pollution charges, stemming from his alleged handling of asbestos-related material at the site. Desler faces seven counts of first-degree air pollution. In addition, he must also answer to three counts of second-degree air pollution, supplying false information and reckless endangerment. Despite the evidence to the contrary, Desler still claims he is innocent.
Desler, a Eugene developer, was attempting to do work on the Sweet Home site, but stopped work in 2007 after the 153-acre property was found to contain asbestos. At this point, Desler stopped work, but left the asbestos-tainted debris uncovered on the site. The Sweet Home site was cleaned up earlier this month by the US EPA, and a grand total of 4 million pounds of asbestos-contaminated debris was hauled away from the site.