Oneonta, New York - Five employees at Syracuse-based Certified Environmental Services were indicted last week after a federal grand jury found that there was sufficient evidence that CES had committed various environmental crimes related to asbestos. CES, an air-quality monitoring company, allegedly falsified air test results related to asbestos testing. CES employees allegedly gave false information to their clients, and told them that asbestos removal work had been done, even when it had not been in many cases.
Five CES employees were charged with violating the Clean Air Act, violating the Toxic Substances Control Act, mail fraud, and other charges. Those charged include CES owner Barbara Duchene and employees Nicole Copeland, Elisa Dunn, Sandy Allen and Thomas Juliano. Frank Onoff, an asbestos abatement supervisor at Paragon Environmental Construction was also named in the suit. The defendants are believed to have conspired to falsify test results for nearly a decade, potentially putting thousands of people at risk for developing lung cancer or mesothelioma.
Oneonta residents are troubled, as CES was responsible for work at the Oneonta Job Corps Academy site. The project at the Job Corps site was conducted in 2003, when 90 feet of pipe insulation was removed. Other CES work sites included private homes, a library reading room government buildings, and a facility for the mentally disabled.