Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

News Release
Release Date: Oct. 24, 2013
Contact: Dottie Boyd, Air Quality Program, 503-378-5086 Contact: Steve Siegel, Compliance and Enforcement, 503-229-5395

Contacts:

Global Pacific Environmental fined $31,128 for asbestos removal violations
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued penalties totaling $31,128 to Global Pacific Environmental, Inc. for violations related to an asbestos removal project at a burned-out and partially demolished commercial building in Dallas, Ore. The company failed to provide DEQ with accurate information about the project and improperly disposed of asbestos-containing debris. Global Pacific also violated the terms of a conditional exemption granted by DEQ that allowed the company to avoid building a negative pressure enclosure during abatement operations. Asbestos contractors are required to use water to wet asbestos-containing materials and asbestos contaminated debris to reduce the risk of releasing dangerous asbestos fibers during cleanup. However, a DEQ inspector visited the project site and was told by the company’s site supervisor that no water was available. The inspector observed that workers had handled dry debris and had no viable method of applying water. DEQ assessed a $5,400 penalty for this violation. The inspector also found unpackaged piles of contaminated debris, despite legal requirements to package and store all asbestos-containing waste material in leak-proof containers. DEQ assessed a $13,728 penalty for this violation. Without wetting, proper packaging and strict adherence to the cleanup methodology Global Pacific Environmental proposed to DEQ, a negative-air enclosure was required to minimize the risk of releasing dangerous asbestos fibers. The company did not construct an enclosure. DEQ assessed a $12,000 penalty for this violation. The company was also cited but not assessed a penalty for the following violations: • • Global Pacific Environmental submitted notification to DEQ on Mar. 11 about the project and indicated a demolition start date of Mar. 26. However, work did not begin until April 8. The company incorrectly listed itself as the waste hauler of the asbestos-containing waste material .

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 811 SW Sixth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204 | Tel/503-229-5696

• •

Sixteen asbestos waste shipment forms, signed by the company’s representative, fail to list the address of the disposal site that accepted the asbestos-containing waste material . The company took the unpackaged contaminated debris to Coffin Butte landfill as “construction and demolition waste” and failed to inform Coffin Butte that the waste contained asbestos-containing waste material.

Proper packaging, transport and disposal of asbestos-containing waste material is extremely important because asbestos fibers are a respiratory hazard proven to cause lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos. Oregon’s asbestos abatement notification and waste shipment reporting requirements protect public health and are critically important. Without accurate information about when and where a project will be performed and how waste is handled, DEQ is unable to ensure that dangerous asbestos is being handled and disposed of properly. DEQ enforces Oregon environmental laws to protect people’s health and to keep our region’s air, land, and water clean and healthy. These compliance and enforcement efforts also help level the playing field by deterring violators who might otherwise have an unfair business advantage over their environmentally compliant competitors. For more information about DEQ-issued penalties across Oregon and other information about DEQ’s compliance and enforcement, please see the agency’s website. ###

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 811 SW Sixth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204 | Tel/503-229-5696

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