Editor's Note: The following press release was issued by the state Department of Environmental Protection. It concerns a Milford-based company and refers to renovation work at an apartment building at 31 Congress St. DARN Properties is based on East Main Street and owns six rental properties in Milford, according to town records.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) assessed a $28,372.50 penalty on DARN Properties, LLC of Milford for violations of state asbestos regulations that occurred during a Milford rental property renovation project in September 2011.
During an inspection of the property, MassDEP determined that the company had allowed asbestos-containing floor tiles to be improperly removed during the renovation and then disposed of in an open-top dumpster at the property. Upon discovery, MassDEP required the company to immediately retain the services of a Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards licensed asbestos contractor to properly handle, package and dispose of all the asbestos waste, and to decontaminate the dumpster and all affected areas of the property.
The company was penalized for failing to notify MassDEP of a demolition/renovation operation involving asbestos-containing materials; and for the improper removal, handling, packaging, labeling and storage of asbestos-containing waste materials. State regulations require notification to MassDEP in advance of an asbestos removal project. Proper removal, handling, packaging and storage of asbestos-containing materials are critical measures that prevent the release of and potential exposure to asbestos fibers, and warn of the health hazards associated with that type of waste material.
"Owners involved with building renovation work must be fully aware of their responsibilities under the regulations to ensure the proper removal, handling, packaging and disposal of asbestos-containing materials," said Lee Dillard Adams, director of MassDEP’s Central Regional Office in Worcester. "Failure to notify MassDEP of asbestos removal, and to follow prescribed work practices is an extremely serious, and ultimately a costly oversight that potentially exposes workers, tenants and the general public to a known carcinogen. As this case illustrates, noncompliance with the asbestos regulations will result in significant penalty exposure, as well as escalated cleanup, decontamination, disposal and monitoring costs."
Under the consent order reached between MassDEP and DARN Properties, the company must pay $8,500 of the assessed penalty. The remaining $19,872.50 fine will be suspended provided that the company has no further violations for one year.
Property owners or contractors with questions about asbestos containing materials, proper removal, handling, packaging, storage and disposal procedures, or the asbestos regulations are encouraged to contact the appropriate MassDEP Regional Office for assistance.