H. Bradford White, a general manager at the West Boylston Municipal Light Plant in Massachusetts, was arraigned on October 27 2010, for charges of violating the Clean Air Act. The charges stem from 2006, when Mr. White oversaw a renovation project in an unused area of the plant’s basement. He has plead not guilty to three counts of violating air pollution orders concerning the removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials.
Asbestos exposure is known to cause numerous health problems including asbestosis and mesothelioma. The “statement of the case” filed by the Assistant Attorney General presents that part of the renovation project included the demolition of asbestos-containing transit panels by several of Mr. White’s light plant employees, who were untrained and improperly equipped for the handling of the dangerous asbestos.
Prosecutors allege that Mr. White, who had previously received asbestos training, did not warn his employees about the inherent risks or teach the proper Department of Environmental Protection demolition procedures. Also, he is accused of failing to ensure that the asbestos-containing debris was properly disposed at an approved waste site. The prosecution stated that years after the project, workers recalled bags of asbestos-containing debris still being stored at their plant.
An employee, who had previously insisted that the material be tested for asbestos, questioned Mr. White about the remaining debris and was told to stop pressing the issue. In March 2009, the Department of Environmental Protection was notified and agents visited the plant to conduct additional testing on the debris being stored. The testing reconfirmed the presence of asbestos and Mr. White was ordered to comply with the proper disposal procedures.
The case will continue in court on December 1.
Have you or a loved one been exposed to asbestos, possibly from an illegal asbestos removal? An asbestos lawyer may be able to help.