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Release Date: 06/09/1998
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, Press Office 617-918-1008

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has settled an enforcement case against the Regency Towers Condominium Association of Hartford, Conn. and two other parties for asbestos violations.

As part of the settlement, the condominium owner and the two other parties agreed to pay $13,550 of penalties and take steps to protect against future asbestos risks. Among the steps are routine asbestos surveys and asbestos training for personnel handling future renovations and demolitions.

The parties had already funded an asbestos cleanup and removal project that cost more than $180,000. The cleanup project at the 13-story condominium complex in Hartford was completed early last fall.

The enforcement case began in spring 1996, when EPA issued the three parties compliance orders to rectify asbestos contamination problems discovered in response to a complaint from a condominium resident. The 126-unit complex became contaminated during an extensive renovation project in 1995.

"The inhalation of asbestos fibers poses significant health risks, particularly in terms of potential lung disease," said John P. DeVillars, administrator of the EPA's New England Office. "The handling of asbestos materials at Regency Towers during the renovation was extremely sloppy. Such noncompliance will not be tolerated by EPA."

Parties in the case included the Regency Towers Condominium Association, which owns and operates the condominium complex; IMAGINEERS L.L.C., a real estate management firm in Hartford that maintained the complex when the violations took place; and James M. Sutherland of Vernon, Conn., the contractor who handled the renovations.

The settlement, embodied in three separate consent agreements, was finalized May 30.