Thursday, June 29, 2006

Two companies fined $430,000 for asbestos violations

Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. - An asbestos removal contractor and a property management company agreed to pay air quality regulators $430,000 to settle claims they improperly removed asbestos from San Francisco Bay area buildings.

The fines were the largest asbestos reporting and removal penalties the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has levied, the agency said Tuesday.

A Roseville property management company, operating as USA Properties Fund Inc. and USA Multifamily Management Inc., agreed to pay $300,000 on allegations it used unqualified workers to remove asbestos from the ceiling of a Concord apartment complex.

The workers failed to protect themselves and apartment residents from exposure, according to a lawsuit filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court in March.

In the second case, a Hayward asbestos abatement contractor, operating as Synergy Environmental Inc. and Synergy Enterprises Inc., agreed to pay $130,000 in penalties for allegedly failing to properly notify regulators of more than 250 removal jobs it performed in 2002 and 2003.

Calls to both companies were not immediately returned Wednesday.

Inhaling asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer and other serious diseases.