December 21, 2018

Worcester contractor fined $52K for asbestos violations

A Worcester home improvement contractor will pay almost $52,000 in penalties for violating asbestos regulations at a residential property in the city.

According to a news release from the state Department of Environmental Protection, inspectors in 2016 received a complaint of a project being conducted by Stephen Faro and his business JAM Quality Home Improvement.

Inspectors saw an asbestos-containing pipe improperly removed from pipes in the residence's basement along with fragments and sections of dry, uncontained asbestos insulation on the basement floor. Other material was in unsealed household trash bags.

Faro was required to obtain a licensed asbestos contractor to clean and decontaminate the property.

However, Faro didn't file a notification of the asbestos removal work with the state and didn't have the property surveyed for asbestos before any removal work began.

Mary Jude Pigsley, director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester, said Faro, a licensed contractor, should be well aware of how to handle asbestos.

"Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and following required work practices is imperative to protect workers as well as the general public," Pigsley said. "Failure to do so will result in significant penalties, as well as escalated cleanup, decontamination and monitoring costs."

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