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EPA Cites New Jersey Asbestos Removal Company for Clean Air Act Violation

Release Date: 03/21/2000
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(#00043) New York, New York -- EPC Technologies, Inc., of Cookstown, New Jersey, faces up to $110,000 for violations of the asbestos provisions of the federal Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. Following two inspections of an asbestos removal job at an old warehouse, EPA has cited EPC Technologies with failing to keep asbestos-containing material wet after it was removed and to then properly seal the material in leak-tight containers while still wet. Asbestos can cause respiratory ailments such as asbestosis, a degenerative lung disease and mesothelioma, a very rare cancer of the lining of the lungs.

"Asbestos removal companies should get the message that EPA is out there, and we are checking removal jobs to ensure that they are being done right," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Regional Administrator. "Handling asbestos is really very simple you have to keep the material from becoming airborne so it is not breathed in. Airborne asbestos puts workers and any others that may enter the area at risk."

In February 1999, EPA was notified that EPC technologies intended to remove asbestos during March, April, May and June from the "Old Revlon Building," before it was to be demolished. An EPA inspector visited the site on May 21 and observed dry asbestos-containing material scattered on the floor. The Agency's inspector also observed a black polyethylene bag, which was not sealed, full of what appeared to be dry crumbled asbestos-containing material. EPA conducted a subsequent inspection on May 25, and discovered dry asbestos-containing material on the floor and columns in the area where the asbestos removal was taking place. Lab analysis of the material confirmed that the material did contain asbestos. EPA has proposed a $110,000 penalty for the violation.