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Adminstrative Law Judge Penalizes Contractor $45,040 for Asbestos Removal at Wheeling, W. Va. Church

Release Date: 6/1/2004
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – An administrative law judge has ruled that Chippewa Hazardous Waste Remediation & Energy, Inc. (“Chippewa”) violated federal asbestos regulations during a May 2001 renovation at the Ohio Valley Christian Center of the Assemblies of God in Wheeling, W.Va.

Administrative Law Judge William B. Moran assessed a $45,040 penalty against Chippewa, a Triadelphia, West Virginia-based asbestos removal contractor, for violating federal asbestos regulations designed to reduce the threat of asbestos emissions during demolition and renovation operations.

In its April 2002 Clean Air Act complaint, EPA originally sought a $36,300 penalty against Chippewa and the Christian Center board of trustees. The board contracted with Chippewa to remove 3500 square feet of asbestos-containing roof shingles from its building (the former St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church) on 575 National Road in Wheeling. In November 2002, EPA settled its complaint against center for a $500 penalty. The settlement figure was based in part on “ability to pay,” as provided by the Clean Air Act=s penalty provisions.

In June 2003, Administrative Law Judge William B. Moran held a two-day hearing in Wheeling on EPA=s remaining claims against Chippewa. In a 32-page decision issued on May 26, 2004, Judge Moran credited EPA evidence and testimony that Chippewa employees used shovels to break asbestos shingles loose from the roof, and did not adequately wet or contain asbestos-containing materials during renovation activities. Judge Moran increased the penalty to $45, 040 – $10,000 more than originally sought by EPA – finding that “the record shows that Chippewa willfully, or at least knowingly, violated the [Clean Air Act asbestos] regulations in conducting the renovation activity at the facility.”

For more information on the safe handling and disposal of asbestos, visit

Chippewa has the right to appeal Judge Moran=s decision to EPA=s Environmental Appeals Board.