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Oregon Company Fined For Numerous Asbestos Safety Violations

<p>Many of the items removed from World War II ships contained toxic asbestos, which had to be handled carefully during the environmental clean-up.<br /><br /></p>

Paul Fishman, NorthWest Ecosystem Services, Inc.

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Many of the items removed from World War II ships contained toxic asbestos, which had to be handled carefully during the environmental clean-up.

Oregon regulators have fined a Washington County company for violating asbestos rules more than 100 times.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality fined the company, Oregon Environmental LLC of Cornelius, more than $436,804. It also revoked the company’s license to handle asbestos.

 Asbestos was a common component in building materials for houses and buildings before 1980. When asbestos is improperly removed, its fibers become airborne. People who breathe those fibers are at risk of cancer and other diseases.

 The DEQ’s action followed a year-long investigation, mostly in the Portland area. It found that Oregon Environmental LLC failed to conduct required air sampling to ensure worksite air was safe to breathe, and that it did not dispose of asbestos at an authorized waste disposal site. The company also submitted false or inaccurate documentation to DEQ, including in its last two asbestos license renewal applications, regulators said.

Oregon Environmental LLC lawyer Troy Sexton  said the company is considering its options and intends to appeal.

"They want to make clear that they haven't done anything wrong as far as the handling of asbestos has gone," he said. "They admit to some paperwork lapses but they don't think that the penalty is justified by what actually has occurred."

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