According to the Salem News, former owners of a Salem property irresponsibly caused the release of the toxic mesothelioma-causing substance known as asbestos. According to the Massachusetts attorney general's office, the release of asbestos occurred during demolition at the site. According to the lawsuit filed by the attorney general's office, MRM Project Management, its principals, and a contractor broke the law when they knocked down asbestos-contaminated buildings and left contaminated debris uncovered. The involved parties also broke the law when they hauled the asbestos-containing debris using open trucks.
According to The Salem News, the 6.7-acre former home of Salem Oil and Grease, located at 60-64 Grover St. and 3 Harmony Grove Road, is the home of a planned 129-unit apartment complex. Salem Oil and Grease had been initially identified as a site of potential contamination in the 1980s and had been unoccupied since 2002. MRM bought this site in 2006 and sold it in 2018. When MRM purchased the site, there were seven buildings and bridges across the North River and underground tanks. Four of the buildings and part of a fifth building were demolished sometime before August 2016, when the Department of Environmental Protection stepped in. According to the lawsuit, the contractor never checked the two buildings for asbestos before they were demolished. Also, the suit alleges that the company did not follow the plan it had submitted for the buildings that were known to be asbestos-contaminated. Additionally, it is alleged that they demolished the bridges without proper notice to the Department of Environmental Protection.
According to The Salem News, the lawsuit alleges that demolitions took place without adequate surveys of the buildings for the presence of asbestos, which was then found in debris piles. The suit continues to claim that, after demolition, MRM did not take the necessary steps to ensure the debris was handled in a correct manner as it was removed. The lawsuit claims that the waste was placed in barrels made of cardboard, which were then put into open trash hauling containers, and no air monitoring was conducted. Additionally, the lawsuit says that some of the debris was used to illegally make pathways and access ramps.
Under the state laws, which are described under the Oil and Hazardous Material Release Prevention and Response Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the Massachusetts attorney general's office seeks fines of up to $50,000 per day per violation.
Importance of Handling Asbestos Safely
It is crucial to handle asbestos safely to avoid asbestos exposure. During demolitions, for example, mishandling of asbestos-contaminated materials can lead to asbestos fibers becoming airborne. Once asbestos fibers become airborne, they can be inhaled. Asbestos fibers can become stuck in the lungs, heart, or abdomen, resulting in fatal diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
As for asbestos removal, removal plans should always meet all state and federal guidelines to ensure the work is done correctly.
Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment.