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California Real Estate Developer Sentenced for Illegal Asbestos Removal in Idaho

Release Date: 8/23/2004
Contact Information: Christopher Lagan
(202) 564-7338

August 23, 2004

Aubrey Lewis Ritz of Sacramento, Calif., was sentenced to serve five years of probation, the first year of which will be spent in home confinement and pay a $100,000 fine for violating the Clean Air Act by failing to conduct a thorough asbestos inspection at the Stardust Hotel in Idaho Falls prior to undertaking a renovation project.

Failure to follow federal asbestos workplace practices can expose workers and others who enter an asbestos workplace to the inhalation of asbestos fibers which are a known cause of lung cancer, a lung disease known as “asbestosis” and mesothelioma, a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities.

Fifty thousand dollars of the fine will be given to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for a project in Southeast Idaho. Sentencing was handed down on Aug. 1 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho in Pocatello. The case was investigated by the Boise office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division with contract assistance from EPA Region 10. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.

Related Links:

Asbestos Homepage (
The Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act (
Full text of the Clean Air Act (
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (
Asthma (
Construction Industry Compliance Assistance (