Lynn, Massachusetts - A man who once owned an asbestos abatement business in Lynn, Massachusetts will be spending the next 30 days behind bars because he failed to follow state and federal regulations when removing and disposing of the hazardous material.
According to an article in The Salem News, David Harder was jailed after he confessed to improper asbestos removal at a number of area schools, a public library, and a women’s shelter. He also admitted to leaving two bags full of asbestos debris in a Lynnfield storage facility because he didn’t want to pay to have it disposed of properly, which involved bringing it to a waste facility that accepts hazardous materials.
In several cases, it was determined that Harder had left asbestos debris behind at his jobsites. This included the Lynn Public Library and the Lynn Woods School, officials said. That means anyone present at the site could have encountered the material and inhaled its fibers, which can cause mesothelioma cancer and other lung problems.
Harder’s lawyer said it was his lack of business experience that caused the problems with the company. Others believe it was simply Harder’s blatant disregard for environmental laws that caused him to handle abatement and disposal improperly. Many pushed for a much longer prison term.
Assistant Attorney General Andrew Rainer, who heads the environmental crimes unit, had urged that Harder be sentenced to at least a year behind bars, pointing out that Harder had been in the abatement business since 1994 and knew the regulations as well as the risks posed by improper asbestos handling.