Monthly Archives: July 2013
By Shannon Heffernan, http://www.wbez.org
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun cleanup of brain-damaging lead contamination on the former site of Loewenthal Metals in Pilsen.
Jerry Mead-Lucero is an organizer with Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO). He says lead contamination of over over 400 parts per million (ppm) is a concern. On the Lowenthal site, they discovered lead levels levels as high as 23,000 ppm.
“Really we were quite shocked because that was off the charts from what we’ve seen before. And it’s very close to a school and very close to a community garden,” said Mead-Lucero.
Lead exposure is especially damaging to pregnant women and young children. PERRO says the EPA knew about the contamination of the soil as early as 2006, but they only responded after PERRO began to pressure them. Read More
- EPA contractor agrees to pay $65,450 in Omaha settlement (siouxcityjournal.com)
By Suzanne Skadowski, epa.gov
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered three property management companies in Oregon and Idaho to pay more than $15,000 in federal penalties for failing to disclose lead-based paint hazards to renters. Elite Property Management, Inc. of Corvallis, Oregon, and Advanced Management, Inc. of Keizer, Oregon, and Hill Rental Properties, LLC of Moscow, Idaho, were each fined for violating the federal Lead-Based Paint Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule. Read More
By Francie Diep, http://www.popsci.com
A fungus-like pathogen, first discovered just five years ago, now is wreaking havoc on juniper trees in the U.K.
This is the first time that this mold, called Phytophthora austrocedrae, has ever been seen in Europe. It threatens a tree that’s native to the U.K. and important to ecosystems there. Junipers are known for the berries, which give gin that piney flavor. Most gin companies don’t get their juniper berries from the U.K. nowadays, ABC News reports, but the infection may cross onto mainland Europe. Read More
Niles Elementary Dist. 71 school board members this week expected to approve spending up to $118,000 to deal with recently discovered mold at Culver Elementary School.
“In the morning (of Thursday, June 6), while cleaning the art room, a patch of mold was found behind a stack of storage boxes,” Dist. 71 Supt. Amy Kruppe said in a letter to parents dated Friday, June 7. “We immediately brought on site our Architect and JMS Environmental Associates to guide us through assessment of this discovery and assessment of the entire Culver School,” the letter continued. “Our concern, as always, is for the safety of your students and our staff.”
The letter concluded: “We want to assure you that once we have more information we will share this with you.”
“We discovered it on Thursday, June 6 at 11:30 a.m., by 12:30 p.m. we had our architect and environmental specialists in,” Kruppe said.
One teacher that worked near where mold was found is being treated for respiratory symptoms, Kruppe said. No students have complained of any respiratory ailments. Read More
Two self-employed builders from Birmingham have been sentenced for exposing householders, as well as themselves, to asbestos. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have prosecuted Harnek Ram of Handsworth and Gulzar Singh of Smethwick, trading as G Builders, after they illegally removed and broke up asbestos panels from a home in Handsworth between 19 and 25 May 2012. Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard that the householder, who does not wish to be named, received a grant from Birmingham City Council to convert his garage into a bedroom and bathroom for his disabled father.
As part of the grant process, samples were taken on behalf of the City Council to test for asbestos and the results revealed asbestos was present. However, HSE’s investigation concluded that by the time the test results were known, Mr Ram and Mr Singh had already broken up the asbestos insulating boards (AIBs) with a hammer and removed them.
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Contractors have found remnants of asbestos in the debris of the fatal building collapse at 22d and Market Streets, raising questions about paperwork filed earlier by the building owners to get demolition permits.
The owner of the four-story building that collapsed during demolition June 5, STB Investment Corp., submitted inspection reports to the city in January – before work began – saying there was “no asbestos found” in two adjacent buildings to be torn down.
The asbestos inspections were performed by Kenneth Hudson, whose credentials had been certified by the city. His reports were submitted by Plato Marinakos, a licensed architect functioning as an “expediter” to obtain the necessary permit from the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
City Councilman James F. Kenney has expressed concern about asbestos since the building went down, killing six people in an adjacent Salvation Army thrift shop. Read More
By David Wren, thesunnews.com
Renovation of the oceanfront Regency Towers condominium building here has led to criminal charges against a Little River man accused of knowingly creating a health risk for workers and residents and letting friable asbestos blow onto the beach, the building’s landscaped areas and its parking lot, according to an indictment in federal court.
David Braswell and his company, Cool Cote LLC, face seven violations of the federal Clean Air Act related to work they did at Regency Towers in March 2009. Braswell also faces two felony charges of making false statements to federal agents investigating the matter. The charges carry a combined maximum of 45 years in prison. Read More