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WASHINGTON COMPANY, MANAGER ADMIT ILLEGAL ASBESTOS REMOVAL IN ALASKA
Release Date: 02/22/2001
FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2001
WASHINGTON COMPANY, MANAGER ADMIT
ILLEGAL ASBESTOS REMOVAL IN ALASKA
Great Pacific Seafoods, Inc. (GPS), a Washington State corporation doing business in Alaska, and Roger Stiles, one of its managers, pleaded guilty on Feb. 5 to violating the Clean Air Act by knowingly violating CAA safe work practice standards for asbestos removal. Stiles admitted negligently releasing the hazardous air pollutant into the air. Stiles was responsible for directing two GPS employees to undertake asbestos abatement in a GPS facility located in Anchorage, which was in the process of being sold to the Alaska State Department of Transportation. Neither of the employees was outfitted with the proper equipment nor the level of protection necessary to remove the asbestos in the safe manner required by the law. This activity subjected the two employees to an undetermined level of exposure to airborne asbestos fibers. Inhalation of such fibers can cause a debilitating lung disease known as “asbestosis,” lung cancer and mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. GPS faces a maximum fine of up to $500,000 when sentenced, and Stiles could be sentenced to a maximum term of up to one year incarceration and/or a $100,000 fine. This case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Anchorage, Alaska.