Emerson College hit with fine for asbestos violationsEmerson College of Boston, Massachusetts, and Suffolk Construction Company have been fined $250,000 each over violations of the state's air pollution prevention statute and asbestos regulations.
According to a release from the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, the fines stem from the 2007-2008 renovation of Emerson's Colonial Building, which was purchased by the college to be used for office and student rehearsal space.
The complaint claims that a consultant hired to check the building for asbestos reported that it could not access all areas of the site, and recommended further testing to be conducted. However, despite allegedly receiving this report, neither Emerson nor Suffolk - hired to complete the work - conducted the additional testing, the complaint asserted.
"A full building survey and materials test is required before conducting any building demolition, renovation or re-construction that may impact asbestos-containing materials," Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) said in a statement. "The information generated by the survey protects against improper removal, handling and disposal of asbestos-containing materials. This survey was not done here, and this put at risk workers, tenants, and the general public."
Precautions such as these surveys are critical as exposure to asbestos has been proven to cause a range of serious illnesses including asbestosis, lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma, a rare cancer.
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