largest civil penalty ever in Iowa for asbestos violations: claimed attorney general

Equitable-BuildingLowa Attorney General Tom Miller informed that Equitable L.P. faces a $500,000 fine over unsafe asbestos renovation work, while working on the historic Equitable Buiding, informed Lowa Attorney General Tom Miller.

State and federal laws regulating asbestos have very strict requirements for handling asbestos-containing materials during demolition and renovations. Asbestos becomes hazardous as soon as its microscopic fibers become airborne, allowing the particles to be inhaled.

The lawsuit which derived largest civil penaty in Lowa for asbestos violation alleges that Equitable L.P. completely ignored asbestos-handling requirements during renovations from 2005 to 2007, until the Iowa Department of Natural Resources became involved.

The suit alleges that Equitable L.P failed to do the following:

Inspect for asbestos,

Provide notice to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources,

Remove asbestos-containing material before renovation, Properly handle asbestos-containing material during renovation,

or properly dispose of the material.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Richard Leopold believes that every body should  remember that asbestos poses potentially serious health implications and that we should not have a situation like this happen again. This enforcement action should serve as a warning that the regulations relating to asbestos removal and disposal will be vigorously enforced



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