Blog Archives

Lead And Asbestos-Ridden ‘Alcatraz Of The East’ Available For Lease At Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

 By Emily Corwin, http://nhpr.org

Credit rjzii via Flickr Creative Commons

Credit rjzii via Flickr Creative Commons

The US Navy will offer for lease the former Naval Prison on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The Navy has twice before sought private-sector redevelopment of the old Naval Prison, which closed in 1974.  It was built in 1908, and has been called the “Alcatraz of the East.”

The medieval-looking multi-story building is 265,000 square feet and has 11 and a half acres of waterfront land.

The new tenant would be responsible for ensuring structural stability in the now-dilapidated building, and cleaning up hazardous waste, including asbestos and lead paint. Read More

More asbestos found in Rock Island school

Rock Island Clock Tower

Rock Island Clock Tower (Photo credit: wonder_al)

By Tara Becker, http://qctimes.com

An additional 10,000-square-feet of asbestos discovered on the second floor of the former Audubon Elementary School in Rock Island will cost $57,000 to remove, a spokeswoman for the Rock Island-Milan School District said Monday.

 

Holly Sparkman said the removal may add only a day or two to the asbestos abatement process, with demolition scheduled to begin the first week in December.

 

The school board will vote on the additional work and cost during a special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Administration Center, 2101 6th Ave.

 

Valley Construction of Rock Island began removing asbestos from the building Nov. 7 to prepare the building to be demolished.

 

Sparkman said the construction crew recently discovered that tiles on the ceiling of the second-floor had layers of mastic glue, a heavy-duty adhesive primarily made out of asbestos. Read More

 

Contractor finds asbestos while repairing bridge

By Patricia Mazzei, http://www.miamiherald.com

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

A contractor repairing the bridge that connects Virginia Key to Key Biscayne has found asbestos on a tube containing electrical wiring for street lights – an unforeseen condition that could delay the project’s completion.

Kiewit Infrastructure found the asbestos when it demolished a portion of the Bear Cut Bridge’s roadway in August, according to a memo Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez sent county commissioners Friday. The company has been removing and disposing of the tainted material.

The extra work could push back the repairs by several weeks, according to the memo. Kiewit has claimed a 36-day delay, though the county is still negotiating that number.

As part of bonds scheduled for commission approval in December, $750,000 in funding would be set aside to handle the asbestos. The final costs of the fix are still being negotiated. Read More

 

Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries deny, delay asbestos, hazard claims, suits, insiders allege

By Mark Greenblatt, Scripps News

 

For months, mysterious white flakes and construction dust fell on Nancy Lopez’s desk in the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City, Mo.

No question the debris was worse after renovation crews worked the weekend. But really, the mess was getting out of hand. On that Monday in 1983, Lopez grabbed a rag and started dusting.

The impeccably dressed young administrative assistant finished tidying her office and set to work. Unknowingly, she had brushed off her desk, into the air and into her lungs deadly asbestos fibers.

Those tiny fibers stayed with Lopez for decades, and, in 2009, at age 54, she learned she was dying from mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer. She sued the construction company and the county for negligence and punitive damages.

Lopez didn’t realize her suit would eventually pit her against the empire built by acclaimed investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. of Omaha, Neb., has become one of the most powerful forces in asbestos and pollution litigation in the world.

Berkshire’s reach has grown so vast that if you or a loved one files an asbestos- or pollution-related lawsuit in America, like Lopez, you’re likely to encounter a Berkshire subsidiary.

Scripps interviewed more than 20 sources — some confidential — reviewed dozens of lawsuits and spoke with former insiders, who all allege the Berkshire-owned companies that handle its asbestos and pollution policies — National Indemnity Co. and Resolute Management Inc. — wrongfully delay or deny compensation to cancer victims and others to boost Berkshire’s profits. In multiple cases, courts and arbitrators have ruled that the Berkshire subsidiaries’ tactics have been in “bad faith” or intentional.

Through 25 known deals, insurers like American Insurance Group, CNA Financial Corp. and Lloyd’s of London have paid Berkshire to assume their risk for tens of billions of dollars in future asbestos and pollution claims. Read More

New technology tool to help in asbestos battle

By Peter Dinham, http://www.itwire.com

An Australian company has developed what it claims is a pioneering technology platform to help achieve the federal government’s agenda to rid the country of asbestos by 2030.

The company – Octfolio – has just launched its new Asbestos Information Management Software and website – http://www.octfolio.com – which it says is designed to aid in the battle to save lives against deadly asbestos exposure and estimated to save millions of dollars for asbestos stakeholders.

“Ultimately it’s all about an easier and efficient way to track, assess, remove and dispose of asbestos with a goal to saving lives, so we’ve created the Octfolio system to play a pivotal role in helping the Government achieve that outcome for future generations,” says Darren Anderson, Managing Director for the Octfolio company.
“Octfolio has developed the first and only fully integrated tool that will map, classify, quantify and enable the strategic cost effective removal of asbestos from workplaces and homes.

This technology offers everything from online training for asbestos assessors and removalists, and sharing medical research information, to encouraging safe storage and disposal at licensed facilities and even mechanisms for reporting illegal disposal sites.

“Plus there are many more community benefits including accessibility of the project data in situations such as natural disasters and recovery operations, and providing a way for the government and private sector to better inform the public in relation to asbestos and its safe removal.” Read More