Idaho Men Get Prison for Mishandling Asbestos Pipe

Two men recently received six-month prison sentences for mishandling cement asbestos pipe during a municipal sewer project in Orofino, Idaho.

Bradley Eberhart, 51, of Garden Valley, Idaho, and Douglas Greiner, 53, of Eagle, Idaho, former employees of Owyhee Construction Inc., were sentenced in federal court for violating the asbestos work standards of the Clean Air Act, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Clean Air Act governs the safe handling of asbestos-containing materials in renovation and construction projects.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge sentenced both Eberhart and Greiner to six months in prison. Eberhart was also ordered to pay $3.9 million in restitution.

Both men had previously pleaded guilty on Feb. 26, 2013.

Greiner was the project superintendent and Eberhart was the onsite supervisor for the sewer project. Federal investigators said that the two didn’t follow proper procedures for removing cement asbestos pipe during the project. Employees were not properly trained in working with asbestos-containing material or outfitted with protective gear while cutting the pipes with saws. Large quantities of the asbestos-coated pipe were also illegally dumped as fill in 16 different locations around the town.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has spent $3.9 million to clean up the locations where the asbestos was dumped.

The EPA’s criminal investigation is ongoing and will now focus on Owyhee Construction Inc. executives.

When asbestos is disturbed, its microscopic fibers are released into the air where they are easily inhaled. Fibers can then become embedded in the linings of the lungs and other internal organs where they cause scarring and inflammation. This can trigger serious health problems such as mesothelioma, an incurable cancer.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.