A Methuen, Massachusetts-based developer has been ordered to pay a $20,000 fine and serve probation after pleading guilty for the improper removal and disposal of asbestos for work performed on a multi-family residence in Lawrence, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced recently.
Robert A. Norcross, 51, pleaded guilty in Essex Superior Court to three charges of violating the Massachusetts Clean Air Act: failure to file a notice of asbestos removal with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), improper removal of asbestos-containing material, and improper disposal of asbestos waste. The asbestos containing material was pipe insulation in a multi-family residential property in Lawrence owned in trust by Norcross. (WCxKit)
After the plea was entered, Superior Court Judge John T. Lu sentenced Norcross to 18 months’ probation. Under the terms of probation, and an administrative consent order with Mass DEP, Norcross must pay a fine of $20,000, with $10,000 suspended during the period of probation. Norcross is also required to participate in asbestos training and have all of his properties inspected and properly abated of asbestos containing materials.
“Asbestos is a hazardous material that must be reported, removed, and disposed of properly to ensure the health and safety of the public at large,” AG Coakley said. “The defendant ordered unlicensed workers to remove and dispose of asbestos containing materials without taking the proper precautions, putting people at risk.”
The Massachusetts Environmental Strike Force received information that Norcross had ordered the improper removal of asbestos containing insulation from one of his residential properties. Norcross engaged workers in the removal process without the required notification to MassDEP. Further investigation revealed that the insulation had been removed by untrained workers in an area of the property used by tenants to wash laundry.
The workers failed to do the work in a properly contained space to prevent the release of asbestos fibers within the building, and did not adhere to air filtering or other protective measures while removing the asbestos containing materials. Pursuant to Mass DEP regulations, the removal of asbestos must be performed by a licensed contractor with notification as to when the removal will occur and requires certain methods and standards for the safe removal, storage, and disposal of the asbestos throughout the abatement process.
After the illegal removal process had occurred, one of the workers transported bags of the asbestos debris to an unlicensed facility in New Hampshire for disposal. (WCxKit)
A grand jury returned indictments against Norcross and he was arraigned in Essex Superior Court at which time he entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Norcross pleaded guilty recently and was sentenced.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
DREAM OF REDUCING WORKERS COMP COST: www.WCManual.com
WORK COMP CALCULATOR: www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR: www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php
SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.