The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has cited Maverick Demolition Company for possible asbestos violations regarding the historic John Sunday House and its adjoining carriage house. Maverick demolished the 115-year-old house on Saturday, July 16.
County records reveal asbestos was present in the Sunday House and its carriage house, and packages of Eternit asbestos cement shingles were found clearly labeled on-site. Photos were taken and handed off to FDEP investigators.
Maverick did not file an advanced notice required by federal and state regulations noting that the demolition would involve asbestos. Plus, “Debris from the demolition was still at the site and left dry and exposed to the outside elements without adequate emission control,” noted FDEP inspectors.
“The dust clouds during the demolition were quite shocking,” said resident Teresa Hill who filed the complaint, which kicked off the inspection. “I’m concerned because this was done on one of the busiest shopping days at the organic store fifty yards away, with a northerly wind, exposing hundreds of shoppers.”
In the warning letter sent to Maverick, FDEP officials wrote, “Advanced notice of demolition of the residential installation was not found on file. Information obtained from the Escambia County Florida Property Appraiser website indicated the roof cover for both houses contain asbestos.”
“Debris from the demolition was still at the site and left dry and exposed to the outside elements without adequate emission control,” wrote the FDEP.
In fact, Pensacola has a history of asbestos with its U.S. Military Navy Yard founded in 1825. The city’s location on Pensacola harbor and proximity to large timber reserves made it the ultimate site for shipbuilding. Many shipbuilding materials contained asbestos prior to 1970.
“At this point, our first priority is to ensure that the debris at the site is properly handled from this point on,” stated External Affairs Manager for FDEP’s Northwest District, Brandy M. Smith.
“Our compliance staff has been in communication with Maverick and [they] have been told that a licensed asbestos consultant has been hired to conduct a survey of the site and advise Maverick as to proper handling of the debris. Once the department has all the facts, we will determine what if any enforcement actions are necessary,” commented Smith.