The DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) served the Casper City recently with a warning notice for purportedly failing to carry out asbestos test fully prior to the demolition of a housing building.
Casper contracted with a company called Recycled Materials to inspect an abandoned residential building at 1427 Oakcrest Avenue and the Air Quality Division of the DEQ notified that the contractor failed in sampling sufficient material. Additionally, the sampling of plaster material and lathe and acoustic material’s spray was insufficient, according to DEQ’s notice. Asphalt roofing or floor tiles were not sampled at all, the DEQ notice states.
Robinson Contracting Company had removed asbestos already prior to the visit of the DEQ on 28th February however the inspector collected samples of materials that remained.
An analysis conducted in a laboratory found 15% of asbestos material in floor tiles and 5% in tile adhesive.
Asbestos is the name given to a fibrous mineral found in soil and rock. Once it was extensively used as a fire-resistant and insulating building material. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states exposure to asbestos could be dangerous and result in even deadly diseases such as lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. So, asbestos is highly regulated in the United States.
Steve Dietrich, the administrator of air quality, said the agency has issued a notice to the city as well as contractors.
“Both of them have same responsibility,” Dietrich said.
All the cases are separate. The further step for them is to talk with the DEQ for working towards a resolution. According to Dietrich, the meeting will give a chance for the contractor or the city to show any additional info.
The notice sent by DEQ states that breaches are punishable by fines of up to $10000 per day of violation took place or/and an injunction. According to Dietrich, fines are to be calculated and could vary depending on each case’s circumstances.
“We take the regulations concerning asbestos materials very seriously. We primarily want to protect the workers as well as the public,” Dietrich said.
The City Council approved a demolition project report and US$4,701 lien on the property on 16th April. John Patterson, the City Manager, didn’t have details regarding the DEQ case’s status. However, he said the structure had remained vacant for years.
“Finally we took down it for abating the nuisance as it was creating problems in the locality,” Patterson said.