A Massachusetts landfill operator was fined $18,000 recently by state environmental regulators for violating asbestos handling rules.
The fine stemmed from violations discovered during an inspection of the Fitchburg-Westminster Landfill in September 2012, according to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). State inspectors found open asbestos waste bags at the landfill, which is owned by Resource Controls Inc.
Asbestos is known to be a cancer-causing substance, so there are strict state and federal laws in place to protect people from coming in contact with it.
MassDEP regulations require that proper procedures are used during all phases of removal, handling, and disposal of asbestos. For instance, licensed workers must wear protective gear while removing asbestos, and materials containing this toxic substance must be sealed into leak-proof containers, marked with warning labels, and transported in clearly marked trucks only to state-approved landfills.
“It is critical that this landfill operator follow the required asbestos handling procedures to prevent asbestos fibers from becoming airborne,” said Lee Dillard Adams, of MassDEP. “That way, the company can ensure a safe environment for landfill workers and the public.”
Asbestos was once a popular component of building materials and consumer products. It was used in a variety of products due to its ability to resist heat, fire, and strong chemicals.
However, exposure to airborne asbestos fibers is known to cause mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of cancer. Each year there are 3,200 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the U.S.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free consultation to learn more about filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.