Michigan’s Largest Asbestos Release Nets Probation for Kalamazoo Woman

Earlier this year, Mlive.com reported that a Kalamazoo woman and two men were responsible for “Michigan’s largest asbestos release in at least 40 years” had received convictions in a federal case. The three were facing up to five years in federal prison, but now the court has ruled on probation instead.

October 28th, 2015. Mlive.com reports that according to court documents the three Kalamazoo supervisors will now spend the next three years on probation. The three guilty parties had previously all pleaded guilty back in March of this year.

According to the article, the controller and supervisor of the facility visited the site and communicated regularly about the salvage operation. Despite knowledge that workers were stripping and removing asbestos-laden insulation from pipes at the former Consumers plant, the controller and supervisor failed to notify the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the State of Michigan that the operation involved the removal of asbestos inside the facility.

In addition to releasing dangerous asbestos fibers into the air, workers who took part in the salvage operation were exposed to asbestos on a regular basis. Court documents from the case state, “…not everyone wore protective gear all of the time inside of the plant. Some of the workers not removing asbestos wore their street clothes at the facility, which means any asbestos fibers that landed on their clothing and shoes would be transported to their homes where they would expose others to asbestos fibers …One laborer said that workers who wore masks were told to make a filter last an entire week rather than replace them every day, presumably to save money.”

Asbestos abatement is performed commonly in older homes and historic structures. Asbestos abatement performed under strict conditions by a skilled contractor can be quite effective; thereby removing the health hazards associated with asbestos exposure, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. If you or a friend have been diagnosed with asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma, please call us at 1(800)995-6991 for a free consultation.