New Hampshire Companies Settle for $90,000 Asbestos Penalty

Kane Management Group, LLC and 85 Industrial Park II, LLC, both of Portsmouth, N.H., will pay $90,000 in civil penalties for removing asbestos from an industrial building in Dover, N.H., according to State Attorney General Kelly A. Avotte.

In August 2002, the state's Department of Environmental Services learned that unlicensed workers hired by Kane were removing asbestos-containing flooring as part of a renovation project in the Dover property. State law requires that licensed abatement contractors be hired to remove asbestos and that DES be notified before any asbestos removal begins. After confirming that Kane had hired an unlicensed demolition company and had failed to notify the state, DES required the project to be completed by a licensed abatement contractor. In February 2006, the attorney general filed an enforcement action against defendants.

Under the terms of a settlement approved by the Strafford County Superior Court, Kane will pay $90,000 in civil penalties, $10,000 of which will fund air pollution and climate change education and outreach projects at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, New Hampshire.

"This case demonstrates the importance of complying with state laws that protect workers, the public and the environment from potential asbestos risks," Avotte said. "While the defendants cooperated in resolving this case, their failure to follow state law on asbestos removal warrants the monetary penalty required under the settlement."

DES Assistant Commissioner Michael J. Walls added: "Property owners and building contractors should conduct an asbestos survey before starting any renovation or demolition work. If asbestos is present, it should be removed by trained and licensed abatement contractors. These requirements are meant to prevent release of asbestos fibers into the environment and the exposure of unprotected workers to asbestos-contaminated material."

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