In violation of environmental regulations surrounding the handling of asbestos , a Shrewsbury, MA, roofing company was ordered to pay a fine of $46,412.50 to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The company seeks to appeal that decision. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) found that in a roofing removal in October 2006, asbestos-containing shingles were improperly removed from a home whose owner had contracted Certified Residential Roofing and Siding of Shrewsbury to put a new roof on the home. The contractor who removed the roof did not adhere to rules governing the handling, disposal, and packaging of asbestos-containing materials, and the DEP was never notified of the presence of the asbestos-containing Transite shingles. An inspector from the DEP found Transite shingles, which contain asbestos, exposed and dry on the ground rather than wet and packed in sealed and labeled disposal containers.
The exposed Transite posed a serious health hazard to those working and living near the site. The owner of Certified Residential Roofing and Siding, Bruce LaPierre, claimed that the contractor guilty of the violations was not affiliated with his company. The contractor who removed the Transite shingles had done the improper removal before Certified Residential Roofing and Siding was contracted to put the new shingles on the roof at the home in Worcester. LaPierre’s workers at the site were given a listing of the rules and regulations for the safe handling and removal of Transite shingles, and they were ordered to hire a licensed asbestos removal contractor from the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety. The proper procedures for handling Transite is to keep it wet during the removal in order to reduce the likelihood of a release of dust or fibers. Inhalation of these fibers has been linked to cancers such as mesothelioma and several forms of lung cancer . The shingles must also be packaged in tightly sealed containers that are clearly labeled. LaPierre has requested a hearing in order to appeal the fine he feels is not owed by his company.