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Two companies, Oregon-based Conser Design & Construction and Master Craft Restoration and Maintenance of Corvallis, have been fined a total of $27,200 in asbestos violations. The violations resulted during the remodel of a commercial building in Albany, Oregon.
The project’s general contractor was Conser Design & Construction, who hired the subcontractor, Master Craft Restoration and Maintenance. The job began in March of 2015 at the location of 1245 Clay St.
Conser had an asbestos survey on hand that proved the vinyl flooring contained asbestos, a known human carcinogen. Yet, the company knowingly let the material to be openly accumulated at the construction site, causing potential public exposure.
The Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) fined Conser $12,800 for mishandling the asbestos-ridden vinyl flooring as a result of not having it properly removed by a licensed asbestos contractor before the renovation began.
Master Craft’s employees removed 225 square feet of the sheet vinyl flooring for the renovation and was fined $14,000 because of it. (The company does not have an asbestos abatement license nor do any of its workers.)
Because these two companies did not follow asbestos requirements by law, asbestos fibers were most likely released into the air, said the DEQ in its order. You can read the full letter here.
Any activity that would break up, dislodge or disturb asbestos-containing materials should be removed before a project begins as to not disturb the asbestos fibers. In fact, for many years the fibers were used as an important ingredient in a large number of products primarily for the construction industry, but they also had other applications.
Asbestos fibers are a known respiratory hazard proven to cause mesothelioma cancer. Exposure poses a huge threat to public health and there’s no safe level of exposure when it comes to asbestos.
Both Conser Design & Construction and Master Craft Restoration and Maintenance have responded by appealing their penalties.