EPA: Company Indicted in Asbestos Certification Scam
The owner of Environmental Compliance Training was charged in federal court on Aug. 22 with falsely reporting the school had trained dozens of individuals to conduct asbestos removal work. One employee of the company also was charged, in a case jointly investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.
Albania DeLeon, of Salem, N.H., and Jose Francisco Garcia, of Lawrence, Mass., were charged with one count of making a false statement to EPA. The indictment alleges that from approximately 2001 to 2006, DeLeon owned and operated a certified asbestos training school located in Methuen, Mass. According to the indictment, the company issued certificates to many untrained people, allowing them to obtain authorization from the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety (MDOS) to work in the asbestos removal industry. Many of the untrained people were directed to work for Methuen Staffing, DeLeon’s temporary services company that specialized in asbestos removal.
Under federal and state law, anyone interested in working in the asbestos abatement industry must complete a 32-hour introductory training course. DeLeon’s company offered these courses on a weekly basis and issued certificates of completion to participants. If convicted on these charges, DeLeon and Garcia face up to five years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. MDOS Commissioner Laura Marlin said her agency is working to revoke Environmental Compliance's license to operate, an action the company is appealing.