Damille Metal Supply Inc., of Huntington Park, Calif., was fined $220,000 by EPA for illegally removing and disposing of asbestos-containing material.
The removal occurred during the demolition of buildings in El Centro, Calf.
Damille pled guilty to violating the Clean Air Act (CAA) while in the process of dismantling ammonia and nitric acid plants between Oct. 1996 and Jan. 1999.
Damille employees failed to adequately wet the asbestos containing material and maintain it in a wet condition until disposal.
The employees also failed to wrap other asbestos components in plastic wrapping, a safe work practice required by the CAA.
Such safe work requirements are intended to reduce worker exposure to the inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers which can cause lung cancer, a lung disease known as "asbestosis," and mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities.
Part of the fine, $50,000, is being paid to the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District for the purchase of new emission monitoring equipment, and $70,000 will be paid to a San Diego/Imperial County Chapter of the American Lung Association for a summer camp for children with respiratory problems.
Damille was also ordered to provide its field supervisors with appropriate safe removal training.
by Virginia Sutcliffe