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EPA Cites Sargent Enterprises for Late Notification of Asbestos Removal at Bucks Co., Pa. Schools

Release Date: 8/26/2004
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has cited Sargent Enterprises, Inc., an asbestos removal contractor in Jim Thorpe, Pa., for failing to provide timely advance notice to EPA of asbestos abatement projects in two public schools in Bucks County, Pa. They are Pfaff Elementary School in Quakertown and Palisades High School in Kintnersville.

Under Clean Air Act asbestos regulations, parties must provide written notification to EPA at least ten working days before the start of a demolition or renovation projects involving asbestos removal or stripping. This rule gives EPA the opportunity to inspect ongoing asbestos projects and, if necessary, halt or correct improper work practices that might cause asbestos emissions threatening worker safety or public health.

The EPA complaint involves two asbestos abatement projects performed by Sargent Enterprises. The first project was the June/July 2003 removal of asbestos-containing floor tile, transite paneling, and pipe insulation from Palisades High School. The other project was the November 2003 removal of asbestos- containing pipe insulation, floor tile, transite panelling, ceiling plaster, and insulation materials from Pfaff Elementary School.

Sargent Enterprises notified EPA on June 10, 2003 that it would begin the Palisades High School asbestos abatement on June 23, 2003 (nine working days from the notification date). When an EPA inspector visited the site on June 24, 2003, he learned that the work actually began three days earlier, on June 20, 2003. On November 7, 2003, Sargent notified EPA that it would begin the Pfaff Elementary School asbestos abatement project on November 14, 2003 (five working days after the notification date). EPA proposes a $4,620 penalty for these violations.

The company has the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violations and proposed penalty. For more information on asbestos and its regulation, visit EPA=s asbestos homepage at