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Lakeside Estates, in Mashpee, Mass., is fighting asbestos fines and allegations brought against it by the Mashpee Board of Health with an appeal filed in the Barnstable Superior Court. The owners and managers claim the board is “in excess of its authority and jurisdiction” and “unsupported by substantial evidence.”
Lakeside Estates is owned by MEZ Realty Inc., which also has other filed reports against it for not following Massachusetts laws and regulations, such as rodent and asbestos checks before demolishing units, failing to remove asbestos from a trailer, and improperly transporting and disposing of asbestos. Altogether these fines total $45,500.
Board members of Lakeside Estates have mentioned MEZ Realty and manger Matthew Haney put workers and members of the public in danger by not following the proper guidelines for the hazardous chemical.
Asbestos must always be safely handled and removed due to the toxic properties of the substance and its classification as a known carcinogen. In good condition, it doesn’t present a hazard. If worn or damaged, as is the case with demolition, it poses a great risk to the health of humans as fibers may flake off and become airborne.
At that point, it’s possible for anyone in the vicinity to be exposed to the asbestos by inhaling its toxic fibers. These can become embedded in the chest and years later result in serious asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma cancer.
Last year, Haney removed numerous units from the park that were made in the 1980s, which was a time when asbestos materials were often used in building and construction. The Mashpee Health Board said he violated asbestos regulations in the process.
According to Haney’s lawyer, he did not inspect the homes because “MEZ and the manager did not suspect the housing units which were removed of having any asbestos containing material and, did not conduct a pre-demolition inspection for suspected asbestos-containing materials.”
Haney provided the identity of the demolition waste hauler Republic Services and disposal location of the material from one of the asbestos-containing units. According to a letter from Mashpee Health Official Glen E. Harrington, the asbestos went to the Bourne Integrated Solid Waste Facility.
With his appeal, Haney hopes the fines are annulled and his attorney’s fees are paid for. Mashpee has not filed a counter-argument yet.