Apartment Builders Settle Claims of Illegal Asbestos Work in Massachusetts

November 13, 2020

The builders of an apartment complex have agreed to pay $335,000 to settle allegations that workers improperly handled asbestos-containing material during the redevelopment of a former manufacturing site in Lawrence, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said Tuesday.

The agreements settle allegations that Washington Mills II LLP, of Massachusetts, and PC Construction Company, of Vermont, violated the state’s Clean Air Act and the Solid Waste Management Act.

The companies are redeveloping two former manufacturing buildings into a large residential and commercial complex in Lawrence.

Healey’s office said workers illegally stockpiled and reused excavated asbestos-containing material and other solid waste without required surveys or approvals. They also failed to properly abate the asbestos-containing material and to follow any workplace safety requirements intended to prevent exposure to asbestos, the office said.

Under the terms of the settlements, Washington Mills has agreed to pay $175,000 and PC Construction has agreed to pay $160,000, with $30,000 suspended pending compliance with the consent judgment filed in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston, Healey’s office said.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber used in a wide variety of building materials. If improperly handled, it can lead to life-threatening illnesses, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, Healey’s office said.

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