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Two Men Charged with Illegal Asbestos Removal in St. Thomas
Release Date: 02/14/2003
Teresa Libera email@example.com
(02/14/03) Cleve-Allan George and Dylan Starnes each were named in a sixteen-count indictment on Feb. 7 in U.S. District Court for the District of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas. George, operator of the Virgin Islands Asbestos Removal Co. in St. Thomas and Starnes, president of Environmental Compliance and Consulting Inc., allegedly violated the Clean Air Act by unlawfully removing and handling asbestos-containing material (ACM) at the Donoe Community Housing. In January and early February of 2001, the indictment alleges, both men failed to adequately wet ACM during stripping operations and to ensure that the ACM remained wet until it was collected for disposal. Additionally, allegedly both discharged visible ACM emissions to outside air and each made a false statement in the waste shipment record concerning the classification of ACM shipped. The indictment further alleges both men falsified air quality monitoring results and employee exposure monitoring results for ACM. Improperly removing and handling ACM, and falsifying monitoring results can lead to the inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers by workers and the general public. The inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers is a known cause of lung cancer, a lung disease known as “asbestosis,” and mesothelioma which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 for each count upon which he was convicted. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division New York City Area Office and the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Thomas. An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.