The Oregon DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) issued fines totaling US$7037 to Daryl D Allison, the owner of now-defunct Peacock Cleaners Inc in Salem (Oregon) for breaching dry cleaner and asbestos regulations.
Peacock Cleaners was operated by Allison at 1705 State St. in Salem (OR) from year 1995 till 2013 January when Allison shut down the business. During a 2012 boiler inspection, the inspector told Allison that a small piece of piping insulation in that boiler room had snapped off and fallen down. The pipe insulation contained asbestos. It crumbles very easily and therefore, the chance for hazardous asbestos fibres to be released into the air is significantly high.
But, Allison just picked up that asbestos-containing piece and then tossed it in a trash, leaving parts of the pipe insulation on the floor of the boiler room and on a footpath.
Only licensed abatement contractors are allowed to carry out an asbestos removal project. But Allison didn’t have the license to deal with asbestos. DEQ issued a fine of $2804 against him for this particular violation.
In addition, Allison was cited for storing asbestos material on the floor inside as well as outside his facility. Waste containing asbestos should be handled legally and properly. It should be contained for meeting state as well as federal requirements of disposal intended to protect the health of the public.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance. It has excellent resistance against heat, fire and electricity and was extensively used for insulation purpose. However, asbestos is a human carcinogen as well.
Additionally, Allison was issued a $4233 fine for breaching rules regarding the handling (use as well as disposal) of tetrachloroethylene (PCE or perc), which is a very toxic solvent typically used for dry cleaning clothes. It is a highly regulated material. Tetrachloroethylene has a very high potential for causing groundwater contamination. It is a dangerous air pollutant as well. According to the DEQ, Allison disposed tetrachloroethylene into a sanitary sewer. City workers felt PCE’s odor in that sanitary sewer.
During an October inspection, the inspectors with the DEQ noted that Mr. Allison had installed one pipe as well as hose linking the machine for dry cleaning to a drain, directing the tetrachloroethylene-contaminated waste water to a sanitary sewer. Inspectors found the presence of the chemical in the drain.
Daryl D Allison can appeal the penalties on or before 3rd July.