Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Contractor convicted of illegal asbestos removal

November 16, 2010
WASHINGTON — A jury in Rochester, NY, convicted Keith Gordon-Smith, and his Rochester-based asbestos abatement company, Gordon-Smith Contracting Inc. (GSCI) of eight counts of knowing violations of the Clean Air Act asbestos work practice standards, according to The Cypress Times.
The jury also convicted Gordon-Smith and GSCI of lying to hide the violations at a demolition site in Rochester, the article noted.
"Gordon-Smith knowingly exposed workers and public areas to the toxic air pollutant asbestos," said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.
"The verdict should send a strong message to those in the asbestos abatement industry. We have zero tolerance for violations of the Clean Air Act asbestos work practice standards," Moreno added.
According to the article, Gordon-Smith had a contract with the site owner that provided him with 50 percent of the salvage value of all copper pipe and scrap metal.
When the workers removed the pipes and scrap metal, they were repeatedly exposed to asbestos, described to the jurors as falling on them "like snow," the article added
Gordon-Smith and the company were also convicted of six counts of failing to provide required notice to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prior to commencing asbestos abatement projects at six different sites in the Rochester area, between 2005 and June 2008, the article stated.
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