MassDEP Assesses $3,000 Penalty Against Haverhill Contractor for Asbestos Violations at Former Fitchburg Gas & Electric Site


From MassDEP

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed a $3,000 penalty against Absolute Environmental Contractors, Inc. of Haverhill for the company’s failure to follow asbestos removal procedures required by MassDEP regulations at a job site in Fitchburg.

 During an August 2012 inspection of the former Fitchburg Gas and Electric power plant site at 115 Sawyer Passway, MassDEP inspectors observed Absolute Environmental Contractors personnel placing asbestos-insulated pipes in an open-top roll-off container without adequately wetting the asbestos waste materials or sealing them in leak-tight, labeled containers, as required by the regulations.

 MassDEP regulations require that removal contractors thoroughly wet asbestos-containing materials during all phases of removal, handling, and packaging for disposal. These work practices are crucial requirements designed to minimize the potential for dangerous asbestos fibers to become airborne and thus reducing potential exposures to workers and the general public.

 “Licensed asbestos contractors are most certainly aware of the required asbestos removal procedures and must strictly follow all work practices prescribed by the MassDEP asbestos regulations,” said Lee Dillard Adams, director of MassDEP’s Central Regional Office in Worcester. “The cost of noncompliance includes payment of penalties and escalated cleanup, decontamination and monitoring costs.”

 Absolute Environmental Contractors is an asbestos contractor licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards.

 Property owners or contractors with questions about asbestos-containing materials, notification requirements, proper removal, handling, packaging, storage and disposal procedures, or the asbestos regulations are encouraged to contact the appropriate MassDEP Regional Office for assistance.

 MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.