Late last summer, Sunriver Resort property owners in central Oregon filed a $3.2 million asbestos lawsuit against the federal government and six previous owners of part of their land after asbestos-contaminated soil was discovered during the planning of Sunriver’s new aquatic center. In related news coming out last Friday, the Sunriver Owners Association reached a voluntary agreement with Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality on how to solve the problem with the asbestos-ridden soil.
Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral fiber, is known to cause adverse health effects including asbestosis and mesothelioma. Prior to the public awareness regarding asbestos exposure and its potential health risks, asbestos was added to numerous products for its resistance to fire, heat, friction, electrical, and chemical damage. It is believed that the Sunriver property soil is contaminated with asbestos because former military buildings on the site were demolished and buried there.
The agreement the two sides have reached includes covering any contaminated soil with a minimum 2 feet of clean soil and 3-4 inches of asphalt or concrete. Also, additions have been made to the property deed to ensure that the asbestos soil will remain covered in the future. Measures have been outlined that will protect the public from any potential asbestos exposure during the excavation and cleanup. The Sunriver Owners Association will be in charge of air monitoring to ensure that the acceptable risk level of 3.3 asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter is not exceeded.
Have you or a loved one been exposed to asbestos? An asbestos lawyer may be able to help.