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Imperial County Historical Society pays $5,390 for asbestos violations

Release Date: 02/07/2007
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815

(02/07/07) LOS ANGELES - The Imperial County Historical Society has agreed to pay $5,390 for moving a historic Heber College structure in Imperial, Calif. without notifying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as required by federal Clean Air Act asbestos regulations.

Located at 373 East Aten Road, the Imperial County Historical Society documents the local culture using archives and photographs, which are housed at the Pioneers Museum at Pioneers Park.

"When a building is demolished, asbestos must be properly removed in order to protect the public's health," said Deborah Jordan, director of the U.S. EPA's Air Division for the Pacific Southwest Region. "The appropriate regulatory agencies must be notified in advance so they can ensure that the required safeguards are in place."

The Imperial County Historical Society moved the historic Heber College structure to the museum grounds - considered a demolition - without notifying the EPA of the demolition as required under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants regulation. After EPA and the California Air Resources Board investigators visited the site, the museum inspected the property for asbestos and properly removed asbestos found on the structure.

The EPA has classified asbestos, a known carcinogen, as a hazardous air pollutant. Individuals exposed to asbestos fibers are at risk of contracting illnesses such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.

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