New York State Asbestos Rules Violated by Motel Demolition

The New York State Department of Labor has issued an advisory for people to avoid a demolition site in Warrensburg. 

The area is next to Potter’s Diner where a motel was demolished that contained asbestos.  The discovery was made when a May 17 visit to the site found that a sample of the motel’s felt and roofing shingles tested positive for asbestos after the building was already gone.  Asbestos is a deadly carcinogen and asbestos exposure can cause a number of health problems including mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer.

State Labor Department spokesman, Joe Morrissey, stated that NY’s regulations mandate an asbestos survey be performed prior to any demolition.  For this reason, Richard Galusha, one of the owners of the land, has received 3 violations which include not conducting the asbestos survey, having an unlicensed contractor perform the demolition, and having an uncertified worker handling asbestos. 

Despite the fact that the building is already torn down, state officials have demanded the survey be performed and the area be cleaned. But Mr. Galusha claims that he was never informed of the required asbestos test.  There seems to be confusion in this particular case as to who was responsible for informing him, the town or the county.  Of more concern is the health of the workers who demolished the asbestos-containing building and disposed of the hazardous materials without knowledge of the danger they were in. 

It will be years before the workers determine whether they have been exposed because most asbestos-related health issues often take up to 15 years to surface. Read the full article here.