Do we care about our environment? We SHOULD!

If you are a property owner, there are very strict laws in place that can cost you large sums of money if you don’t follow current state and federal regulations to remodel, or demolish any structure on your property.

To avoid the potential risks associated with hazardous wastes, it is important that people always monitor the removal and disposal of materials with potentially hazardous substances in their homes or buildings. Improper disposal of hazardous materials is both environmentally unsound and also illegal, with penalties that are both financial as well as potentially criminal.

The dangers of such disposal methods might not be immediately obvious, but improper disposal of these wastes can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health. Certain types of hazardous waste have the potential to cause physical injury to sanitation workers. They can also present hazards to children, family members, and pets if removed incorrectly.

Don’t Find Out the Hard Way

Most people are unaware of these laws, and find out about them the hard way, by either improperly removing, or dumping hazardous waste, or not doing the right thing when altering any structure on their property. When DEQ, OSHA, SWCAA or Labor and Industries show up due to illegally removing hazardous material, the fines can really mount up. Even if you hire a contractor to do the work for you, YOU, as property owner, are still responsible (forever!) for any environmental impact coming from your property! This can include additional costs for rework, fines, court costs, and worse.

Do It Right the First Time

All toxic materials MUST be removed properly when alterations are made, in order to avoid costly penalties. Advantage Environmental, Inc. is your expert guide, testing lab, and project manager for navigating these regulations, to legally and cost-effectively avoid polluting the environment, and paying large fines, plus the costs of rework.

Not all contractors are aware of the laws

As the property owner, YOU are legally responsible for all toxic materials removed from your building. Most contractors, although professional and very good at what they do, are only vaguely aware of environmental laws, and do not have the expertise to oversee the ever changing laws of the industry.

A SHORT HISTORY OF PENALTIES
November 2005

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued a $7,200 penalty to a company in Bend, and the owner of a 10-unit apartment complex, for allowing unlicensed persons to perform asbestos removal on property they own in Redmond. In a related action, DEQ has issued an $8,400 penalty to the construction company hired by the owner of the apartment complex to renovate the complex, for conducting an asbestos abatement project without being licensed as an asbestos abate- ment contractor.

Oregon requires training and licensing for those who perform friable asbestos abatement projects. Facility owners may allow only Oregon-licensed asbestos abatement contractors to perform asbestos removal.

 

September 29, 2009

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a Washington-based contractor penalties of $30,409 for DEQ violations related to an asbestos abatement project in Newberg, Oregon.

2010

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality levied a total of $3,800 in fines against a state resident who violated asbestos handling laws during a demolition project at a single-wide mobile home in Jefferson.

September 2010

The owner of five apartment complexes in King County, Washington is facing a $165,400 ne for violating state asbestos regulations, including allegedly using untrained and un-certified workers to clean up contaminated ceiling material from 43 apartments at one complex last December.

The owner was cited and fined by the state Department of Labor and Industries, which said the com- pany was “willfully negligent and indifferent” to regulations related to the safe clean up of asbestos when it removed damaged “popcorn” ceilings from apartments in Kent, and other buildings in Renton.

January 2011

“If you cut corners on asbestos removal to save money, we will pursue and prosecute you.” says the Special Agent-in-Charge for EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement in Seattle. A 73 year old owner of an Auburn, Washington business was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 30 days in prison, three years of supervised release, a $50,000 fine and a $50,000 community service payment for Fail- ing to Properly Remove Asbestos — a felony violation of the Clean Air Act.

August 2014

Inspectors had the house taped off within two hours. After samples tested positive for asbestos, environmental regulators settled on a fine of $20,800 for the property owner and $10,400 for the construction company.

January 29, 2015

Property owner says he was improving the quality of his soil when he had two companies dump dry- wall in a field on his rural property west of Grants Pass. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued a news release about the fines. DEQ considers drywall, also known as the brand name “Sheet- rock,” to be solid waste. It is illegal to dispose of solid waste anywhere except in a licensed disposal facility. The property owner was fined $9,000, while the contractor was fined nearly $24,000.

The property owner also paid $38,000 to clean up the property.

April 2015

Coos Bay, Oregon — A local man was fined more than $9,000 for burning asbestos-containing vinyl flooring.

October 2015

State environmental regulators have fined a Keizer property company $10,644 for asbestos-related violations. A construction company removed 225 square feet of sheet vinyl flooring from the kitchen of a home in Salem. The company did not use a licensed asbestos abatement contractor.

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