- To settle claims that it conducted illegal work on asbestos-contaminated water mains five years ago, an Everett, Massachusetts, contractor and its president must pay $225,000 in penalties, train employees on asbestos work and regularly report to the state, according to the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell.
- Landscaping and utility contractor GTA Co. and its president Gregory T. Antonelli allegedly violated the state’s Clean Air Act and Solid Waste Management Act in May 2018, according to a complaint filed by Campbell’s office in July 2021.
- GTA Co. reportedly removed and demolished asbestos-containing municipal water pipes without complying with abatement practices while conducting replacement work in Everett and Braintree, Massachusetts.
The attorney general’s office alleged that GTA Co. left the excavated asbestos on the ground and in open dumpsters. The complaint also alleged that the contractor arranged for transport of the waste it failed to contain from the Everett and Braintree projects, and illegally stored the waste at a site in Revere, Massachusetts.
A consent judgment — wherein parties agree to settle without admission of guilt or liability — filed last month in Suffolk Superior Court states the terms for Antonelli and GTA Co.’s fines. Over the course of two years, the defendants agreed to pay $175,000 in installments. The remaining balance of the penalty, $50,000, will then be waived two years from the date of the judgment, should the contractor and owner comply with settlement.
Namely, GTA Co. will be required to notify the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection weekly of any upcoming projects involving asbestos work for the next two years. The defendants will also be required to train the employees who worked on the project how to properly and safely handle asbestos. For the next two years, GTA Co. must have at least one trained supervising employee present at projects with asbestos work.
GTA Co. declined to comment.
The case is part of an ongoing goal of Campbell’s to hold landlords, contractors and property owners accountable for mishandling of materials like asbestos, a spokeswoman from the attorney general’s office told Construction Dive. The cases often revolve around construction and demolition work.
When asbestos is improperly handled or disposed of, it can release fibers into the air, which, when inhaled, can potentially result in life-threatening illnesses, including asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
“By conducting unsafe and illegal asbestos work, these companies put the health of the community – including the health of their own workers – at serious risk,” said Campbell. “I’m proud of the work our office did to hold this company accountable for their actions – and we will continue to take on any company that harms our environment or violates workplace safety laws.”