Two Massachusetts Workers Plead Guilty to Illegal Asbestos Handling

Two men from Middleboro, Massachusetts have recently pled guilty in New Bedford Superior Court to charges that they performed work in violation of the Massachusetts Clean Air Act. 

Arthur Amaral, 50, and Shawn Amaral, 38, of Northeast Demolition and Removal have entered their guilty plea for failing to follow asbestos disposal regulations and they have been sentenced to 2 years probation and ordered to pay fines. Asbestos releases tiny fibers that can be inhaled, causing a number of adverse health effects including malignant mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer that is caused solely by asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma can take from 15-40 years to develop and victims only average around a year of life post-diagnosis. The charges were the result of the defendants ordering workers to demolish parts of buildings in Attleboro and North Attleboro before previously identified asbestos was removed. 

A licensed asbestos consultant had surveyed the location and identified the asbestos, but the Amarals failed to comply with the required protocol of properly disposing of the carcinogen before starting any demolition or renovation work.

In September 2007, inspectors from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection discovered that the two properties contained debris including floor tiles and piping covered in asbestos. Through the investigation, it was discovered that the Amarals owned a storage unit in Middleboro that contained 76 cardboard drums filled with tiles and pipe insulation that tested positive for asbestos.

Arthur Amaral was required to pay a $1,000 fine and Shawn was required to pay a $500 fine.  In addition, conditions of their two year probation period require them to report any future asbestos removals to their probation officer.

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