Maryland Asbestos Contractor Guilty of Illegal Dumping

” Shortcuts make for long delays…” so said Samwise to Frodo in the first part of Tolkien’s epic trilogy. The corollary to this statement might be that cheap dumping–especially of toxic asbestos waste–can make for large expenses…
It is a common theme here at the news feature of Asbestos.Net. Someone wishing to avoid the trouble and expense of dealing with asbestos waste in a legal and environmentally sound way takes what they are certain will be short and inexpensive shortcuts, but ultimately are discovered–and wind up paying fines amounting to several times what it would have cost to do it correctly in the first place, while facing incarceration to boot. Charles Victoria was an asbestos contractor for a company with the long and impressive-sounding name of Independent Enterprises and Industrial-Commercial Consulting International, Inc.

Several years ago, Victoria was supervising the removal of asbestos waste at the decommissioned Woodville State Hospital in Collier, Maryland. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations require that such waste be placed in special, heavy plastic bags, labeled as asbestos waste, sealed with duct tape, and taken to approved toxic waste disposal sites. Instead, the asbestos-containing insulation that was removed wound up in a nearby ravine, where it lay for almost twelve months–during which time asbestos contaminated a creek at the bottom of the ravine. It was then discovered by inspectors from the EPA. Victoria entered a guilty plea in a federal court on 31 March 2008 before U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster. Judge Lancaster will pass sentence later this summer; he could fine Victoria up to a quarter-million dollars and have him imprisoned for up to five years for violations of the federal Clean Air Act. Management for the company at which Victoria worked was found guilty of similar violations in 2006. That company paid fines totaling $300,000 and was placed on corporate probation for three years. With all the similar stories that have been posted here over the past several months, one thinks that somebody would have learned something by now…

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