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PA DEMOLITION CONTRACTOR INDICTED
Release Date: 4/18/97
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 1997
DEMOLITION CONTRACTOR INDICTED
Howard Parsons of Holland, Pa., was indicted on April 10, in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, Pa., on seven counts of violating the federal Clean Air Act in regard to the demolition of the Grant Paper Co., building in Philadelphia. Parsons is charged with five counts of failing to follow federal workplace standards for asbestos abatement and two counts of illegal disposal of asbestos waste. Parsons, operator of Philadelphia Construction and Equipment Inc., was hired by the building's owner to demolish the building, which contained at least 7,605 square feet of regulated asbestos-containing material. Federal workplace standards have been established to reduce airborne asbestos fibers which can cause a lung disease known as “asbestosis” and lung cancer in people. Grant Paper Company's corporate successor, TGP Inc., pleaded guilty to one Clean Air Act count in 1995, and cleaned up the dump sites in a minority community in Philadelphia at a cost of $1.5 million. If convicted, Parsons faces a maximum of 35 years imprisonment and/or fines of up to $1.75 million. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the asbestos regulatory programs of EPA Region 3 and the city of Philadelphia.
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