The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced that they’ve levied a $10,887 fine against a Wakefield, Mass. contractor for shoddy work that resulted in asbestos-related violations. The work was performed in 2010 on the campus of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.
According to an article in The Herald News, the contractor – Commonwealth Tank of Wakefield – was working on a demolition project on a boiler plant on Westport Road. The project involved demolishing an oil tank piping tunnel. When inspectors from the DEP showed up unannounced they found that heavy chunks of concrete had fallen onto the pipes, damaging asbestos-containing pipe insulation. Though workers had attempted to wet down the area with a garden hose, tests performed by the DEP that day indicated an unacceptable level of asbestos in the area.
“Anyone who works on or around oil tanks, particularly the thermal-system insulation, has got to be aware of the prospect of asbestos-containing materials,” said Philip Weinberg, director of DEP’s Southeast Regional Office in Lakeville. “…or else their own health and safety and [that of] anyone nearby is at risk from exposure to asbestos fibers.”