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Allegheny County Health Department Issues Enforcement Orders Over Asbestos Abatement

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) in June issued six enforcement orders related to asbestos abatement. 

According to the orders posted to the ACHD website Aug. 13, the companies violated Allegheny County’s Air Pollution Control Regulations by failing to submit required asbestos surveys and asbestos abatement demolition forms – documents that must be sent to ACHD 10 days prior to work commencing. 

For those who might be unfamiliar: Asbestos refers to a group of naturally occurring, fibrous minerals that can cause major breathing problems and even cancer. During demolition, old, brittle asbestos products can release tiny – even microscopic – fibers. These fibers are odorless and tasteless and can remain suspended in the air, entering your lungs when you inhale.

Because of the significant health risk, ACHD regulates asbestos-handling activities. Allegheny County requires that all asbestos abatement contractors be licensed through ACHD.  All renovation and demolition work on buildings containing a certain amount of asbestos must follow ACHD rules and regulations (private homeowners, though, are exempt from these regulations when performing work on their own homes).

ACHD issued enforcement orders against:

ACHD ordered the companies to submit those documents or face a possible $25,000-a-day civil penalty. The companies had 30 days from the date of the enforcement orders to appeal.

It was not immediately clear whether the companies complied – the ACHD website includes no further information on the orders. No associated appeals have been published on the ACHD appeals docket.

In addition, ACHD issued an administrative order against CSI Construction, Inc., a licensed asbestos abatement contractor for prior compliance issues.

The June 19 order details additional requirements the company must meet to keep its license:

  • The company must have all pre-abatement setups inspected by ACHD prior to demolition.
  • It must provide information to ACHD regarding the specific water source that will be used to adequately wet debris.
  • The company must notify ACHD of the start date for demolition two days prior to its commencement.
  • It must request a final clearance inspection from ACHD within 24 hours of demolition completion.  

Editor’s Note: ACHD on Aug. 13 posted information related to several enforcement actions on its website. One of those enforcement orders regarded emissions issues at U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson facility, which you can read about here. In addition, ACHD assessed civil penalties against GenOn Power and Pittsburgh Cremation Services for violations of Allegheny County’s Air Pollution Control Regulations which you can read about here and here

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