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EPA Settles Asbestos Case with Victoria Ward, Island Demo, Coralco

Release Date: 7/30/2003
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

Victoria Ward Ltd.,Contractor and Subcontractor To Pay Total Fine of $24,966
    SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently settled its case against Victoria Ward Ltd., Island Demo Inc., and Coralco Corporation that requires the companies to pay $24,966 for alleged asbestos removal violations at Club Laimu in Honolulu.

     The September 2002 complaint against the companies is for alleged violations of the EPA's Clean Air Act asbestos regulations covering the emission, handling, and disposal of asbestos, as well as record-keeping and notification requirements. The three companies have agreed to pay a total fine of $22,166 for the violations. Island Demo has also agreed to pay $2,800 for an alleged violation of the EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act regulations that require accreditation for those designing or conducting clean-ups involving friable asbestos in a public or commercial building.
     "Asbestos removal needs to be done properly to prevent exposure to the public," said Jack Broadbent, the EPA's air division director for the Pacific Southwest region. "The EPA and the Hawai'i Department of Health will continue to do inspections and enforce any asbestos removal violations to ensure that  companies follow the rules."
     Island Demo and its subcontractor Coralco were hired by Victoria Ward to remove asbestos-containing ceiling material from Club Laimu. The notification of demolition and renovation that Island Demo is required to submit to the Hawai'i Department of Health, scheduled the removal to begin on Jan. 26, 2000, but work actually started three days later.  

     In February 2000, a Hawai'i Department of Health asbestos inspector found dry, asbestos-containing ceiling debris throughout the area that Coralco workers abated. The inspector discovered that an Island Demo representative had designed a clean-up plan for the site without the required accreditation.
     Asbestos is a known environmental carcinogen that the EPA has determined is a hazardous air pollutant. It presents a significant risk to human health as a result of air emissions. Individuals exposed to asbestos fibers can contract illnesses such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.      
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