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Mesothelioma News

Idaho Contractor Fined for Asbestos Violations

An Idaho firm has been issued a fine of $100000 for allegedly violating an environmental response regulation.

Boise (Idaho)-based Owyhee Construction Inc. was sentenced to probation for 3 years and issued a fine of $100000. In addition, the company was ordered to put a compliance & ethics program into practice. Owyhee Construction was also pay restitution for allegedly failing to dispose of hazardous asbestos properly. Two employees of the company had previously been sentenced to imprisonment in connection with related offenses, said Wendy Olsen, the United States Attorney.

Owyhee Construction was the successful bidder on the $3M Orofino waterline renovation project. The company had then been warned that there could be nearly 5000 linear ft of asbestos-covered pipes. The company’s onside manager did not oversee the renovation work properly and, as a result, asbestos-laden pipes became fill materials on sixteen properties in and near Orofino.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cleanup work cost nearly $3980000. Owyhee Construction Inc has been asked to restitute the EPA after the settlement of a civil lawsuit which is ongoing currently.

Illegal removal of asbestos has become a prevalent issue now-a-days. In an effort to save money and time, several contractors across the United States disregard the regulations concerning the legal and safe methods to deal with asbestos. Asbestos is a material which is highly regulated by government agencies such as Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the EPA, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. This means exposure to asbestos even in lower levels can be very dangerous and could result in diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural plaques and malignant mesothelioma. Even indirect (secondhand) exposure to asbestos can be fatal. Secondhand exposure takes place when a worker carries asbestos dust and fibers home through his overalls and any of his family members come into touch with them.

Asbesots is a mineral that was used extensively until the 1980s as a construction material. Many other industries also used asbestos abundantly because of its low cost and its properties like strength, durability, resistance against heat, flame, fire and electricity. The hazards of asbestos, such as it can cause fatal medical conditions like cancer, became fully known in the 1980s and agencies like the EPA and the OSHA started regulating the material. Violation of asbestos regulations could result in hefty fines and imprisonment.