Washington, DC – Douglas Greiner, an Eagle (ID) resident, and Bradley Eberhart, a Garden Valley (ID) resident, were sentenced a few days ago in a United States District Court for breaching the work practice standards under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) to control asbestos emissions, Environment & Natural Resources Division’s Acting Asst. Attorney General Robert Dreher and Idaho District’s United States Attorney Wendy Olson announced recently. Eberhart is 51 and Greiner is 53 years old.
Hon. Edward Lodge, the United States District Judge who presided over the case, sentenced Eberhart to 6 months of imprisonment, in addition to home confinement for 6 months, community service for 200 hours, and $3.98M in restitution. Greiner was sentenced to 6 months in federal prison, in addition to home confinement for 6 months and supervised for 6 months. The restitution amount to be imposed against Greiner would be decided after further briefing.
Both the defendants had pleaded guilty previously on 26th February, 2013.
Owyhee Construction Incorporated, a Boise-based contractor, won a $2.1M waterline renovation after submitting the least bid for that Orofino (Idaho) project. Greiner was the superintendent of the project, whereas Eberhart was the supervisor onsite. The contract papers warned the company that it might encounter nearly 5000 linear ft. of CAP (cement asbestos piping) at the time of renovation. CAP is non-friable asbestos, which is covered in cement matrix. When CAP is crushed or broken by using heavy equipment or it is subjected to grinding and cutting by using machinery that becomes highly regulated due to the health risk caused by airborne asbestos fibers.
Greiner and Eberhart failed to adequately oversee the renovation, court documents indicate. Eberhart oversaw workers who weren’t adequately trained to handle works involving asbestos. The workers were not given protective gears while cutting asbestos pipe using saws. Workers should use protective equipment while doing jobs that may cause asbestos fibers to be airborne. The reason is that airborne asbestos fibers can be extremely dangerous. If these fibers are breathed in, fatal diseases could be developed in the future. Asbestosis, lung cancer, pleural plaques, and malignant mesothelioma are some dangerous diseases caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.
The EPA had to spend nearly $4 million to clean up the asbestos-contaminated property. The issue was investigated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and prosecuted by Asst. United States Attorney Ronald Sutcliffe.