Friday, June 8, 2012

Bay State AG Bags Landlord For Alleged Clean Air Act Violations; Improper Asbestos Removal, Failure To Warn Tenants Exposed Them To Associated Dangers

From the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General:

  • A North Grafton property owner has been indicted in connection with paying two of her tenants to improperly remove asbestos from her Springfield rental property, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced []. The property owner allegedly failed to warn the tenants of the dangers associated with asbestos and did not ensure that they had proper protective equipment or training of removal procedures.

  • Susan B. Nissenbaum, age 59, was indicted by a Hampden County Grand Jury on three counts of violating the Massachusetts Clean Air Act for failure to file a notice of asbestos removal with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), improper asbestos removal, and improper asbestos storage.
  • According to authorities, in April 2010, Nissenbaum paid two of her tenants to remove asbestos siding from the single-family rental property in Springfield that they were living in and store it on the property.

  • Authorities allege that although Nissenbaum knew that the siding contained asbestos, she did not inform her tenants how asbestos needed to be handled and failed to ensure that they had the proper training or equipment to do so.

  • Nissenbaum allegedly failed to ensure that the tenants follow proper procedures to prevent asbestos fibers from being released into the air. Further investigation revealed that Nissenbaum had the asbestos containing materials stored improperly at the property in torn bags.

  • As a result, authorities allege that the tenants, their children, and others were exposed to asbestos. Nissenbaum also allegedly failed to notify MassDEP before commencing work on the project.
  • Members of the public who have information regarding a potential environmental crime are encouraged to contact the MassDEP Environmental Strike Force Hotline at 1-888-VIOLATE (846-5283) or the Attorney General’s Office at 617-727-2200.
For the Massachusetts AG press release, see Property Owner Indicted for Allegedly Ordering Unsafe and Illegal Removal of Asbestos From Springfield Rental Property (Property owner paid tenants to remove asbestos without providing proper equipment, warning of dangers, or removal training).

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