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Company accused of illegal asbestos disposal

November 17, 2009
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NEW PALTZ, NY — A contractor hired to remodel the student dormitories at the State University of New York at New Paltz has been accused of removing and dumping asbestos in violation of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.
The university hired Milestone Environmental Corporation to perform the $179,000 construction and asbestos removal and after an investigation, Stevens Espitia Oliveros and Salvatore DePaola, both supervisors with the company, were arrested and later released on bail, the story stated.
Milestone Environmental Corporation received a warning notice from the New York State Department of Labor regarding their asbestos abatement issues, and when Milestone supervisors ignored the warnings and continued to violate Labor Department regulations, State University of New York officials released the company from their contract and hired another firm to complete the project, the story noted.
According to Jason Pensabene, an agent of the Labor Department who specializes in industrial hygiene, Milestone workers did not seal asbestos debris in airtight, leak proof containers as required by EPA regulations, left asbestos fibers on the floor to be swept up, potentially making toxic fibers airborne and did not use enough water to dampen down the asbestos fibers at one residence hall to prevent the substance from becoming an airborne contaminant.
One employee from Milestone Environmental Corporation who was performing the asbestos abatement did not have a state-issued asbestos removal license, the story added.
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