Father and Son Found Guilty in Asbestos Exposure Case

Francis D. Tramontozzi, 72, of Tewksbury, and Thomas M. Tramontozzi, 47, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, have been found guilty of causing asbestos to be released in Fitchburg. The pair was also found guilty of removing asbestos without notifying the Department of Environmental Protection. The men were each fined $2000 for violating the Massachusetts Clean Air Act, and $1000 apiece for failing to file a notice of asbestos removal. An anonymous complaint was made to the Fitchburg Board of Health in May of 2006, and an inspector visited the site in the fall of that year. The site in question was the Fitchburg Theatre building, a downtown commercial structure containing a restaurant. The inspector found that asbestos insulation on heating pipes outside the building were fraying and in poor condition, and notified the elder Tramontozzi that he was required to remove or repair the insulation.

The inspector checked the property again several months later and found that the worn insulation was still in place. Francis Tramontozzi then notified the inspector that his son Thomas had repaired the insulation. A reinspection by the Board of Health found that asbestos debris and powdered asbestos were uncontained outside the building. The inspector notified the state Department of Environmental Protection and a MassDEP inspector visited the property, concluding that an improper asbestos removal had taken place. In Massachusetts, building owners must file an abatement plan with MassDEP and hire only licensed individuals to remove asbestos. After investigation by the Massachusetts Environmental Crimes Strike Force (ECSF), the Tramontozzis were prosecuted and found guilty by Assistant Attorney General Wendoly Ortiz Langlois.