Kansas City, MO - A Kansas City, Missouri developer received probation sentence after being found guilty of violating the federal Clean Air Act during the Citadel Plaza project. Bill Threatt, a local developer with a pristine record up until he did not safely or properly remove or dispose of asbestos from the work site from 2001 to 2006, received five years supervised probation after pleading guilty last February.
The Citadel Plaza project would have been a prime example of urban renewal and redevelopment had Threatt not mismanaged the removal and disposal of asbestos, a known carcinogen. Further, the expected collapse of the Citadel Plaza project has left Kansas City authorities not only financially liable but also responsible for properly decontaminating and cleaning up the site.
So far, Kansas City has had to dole out nearly $15 million in settlements for lawsuits filed due to the unexpected collapse of the project. City officials believe that the total clean up of the Citadel Plaza site will be completed by the end of April, at the cost of $1 million. The clean up effort will be precisely planned and executed to ensure that there will not be any additional health and environmental violations.
Due to the gravity of the environmental violations, it is common that extreme violators of the Clean Air Act are sentenced to jail. In Threatt's case, however, the judge felt that supervised probation was “appropriate.”
Asbestos does not designate a single materials, but is, in fact, a set of naturally occurring minerals that have been mined and manufactured for its versatile properties. Commonly used in building and plumbing materials, asbestos was an inexpensive alternative to other, similar materials, and as such, asbestos was heavily used during the twentieth century. After the discovery of its detrimental health affects, asbestos has been since banned from use in most industrialized nations.
Asbestos exposure leads to several, life-threatening and severe medical conditions. Chief among the diseases is mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that can affect the protective lining surrounding the heart, lungs or abdominal cavity. Small particles of asbestos lodge in this tissue causing extensive internal damage which leads to the later development of the cancer. At this time, there is no known cure for mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related diseases.