Scranton-area Property Owner Charged with Asbestos Laws Violation

  • Date: December 14, 2010
  • Source: Admin
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered the owner of an abandoned factory, Hillcrest Building, located in the Scranton area, to comply with asbestos cleanup regulations. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection conducted two inspections and issued two notices of violation to Walter Stocki, for violating asbestos regulations. EPA conducted a follow-up inspection and confirmed that the property was still contaminated with asbestos.

The building’s owner, Mr. Stocki, allegedly violated the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos by demolishing portions of the Hillcrest Building. No precautions were taken to minimize the airborne release of asbestos. EPA ordered Mr. Stocki to secure the site and cease all activities that might cause further asbestos pollution. The building and exterior dumpster were to be sealed and warning signs be posted around the building until a cleanup was performed. Mr. Stocki was ordered to submit a work plan to EPA, within seven days.


Asbestos is the name given to a number of naturally occurring fibrous minerals with high tensile strength, the ability to be woven, and resistance to heat and most chemicals. Due to these properties, asbestos fibers have been used in a wide range of manufactured goods

Asbestos health effects                                                                                                                                                       
Three of the major health effects associated with asbestos exposure include:
  • Asbestosis -- Asbestosis is a serious, progressive, long-term non-cancer disease of the lungs. It is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers that irritate lung tissues and cause the tissues to scar.
  • Lung Cancer -- Lung cancer causes the largest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure.
  • Mesothelioma -- Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining (membrane) of the lung, chest, abdomen, and heart and almost all cases are linked to exposure to asbestos.

EPA Asbestos Laws

EPA has two different asbestos laws or regulations and their resulting implementations.

Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act is administered by the Washington State Department of Ecology and delegated to local air pollution agencies or regional ecology offices. NESHAP, The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos, (vide, Section 112 of the Clean Air Act), requires action to be taken:
  • By the person who owns, leases, operates, controls, or supervises the facility being demolished or renovated (the "owner"), and,
  • By the person who owns, leases, operates, controls or supervises the demolition or renovation (the "operator").

Toxic Substances Control Act:  

TSCA is directly administered by the regional EPA office in Seattle, Washington. AHERA, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, furnishes regulations to respond to asbestos in public and private schools. The Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule implements this mandate. ASHARA, the Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act, concerns personnel working on asbestos activities. Specifically, the Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan requires the use of accredited inspectors, workers, supervisors, project designers, and management planners (schools only) when conducting asbestos activities at schools, public and commercial buildings.


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