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Four Parties Ordered to Comply with Asbestos Removal Requirements at the John W. McCormack Building in Boston


Recent EPA inspections at the John W. McCormack building in downtown Boston identified noncompliance issues with Clean Air Act regulations regarding the proper handling and disposal of asbestos materials in demolition and renovation operations.

EPA issued an Immediate Compliance Order and Reporting Requirement to several key parties working on the renovation, including U.S. General Services Administration (building owner) Suffolk Construction Company, Inc., Fleet Industrial Services, LLC and ATC Environmental Inc.

The substantial amount of asbestos located throughout the building is not unusual due to its age, but it requires that care be taken during renovation to comply with federal regulations under the Clean Air Act. Before demolition and construction activities can begin, involved parties must thoroughly inspect for the presence of asbestos and remove materials that could pose a threat to human health. For the prevention of airborne fibers and dust during renovations, materials containing asbestos must be wet down until they are collected and properly disposed of. This order cites the parties for failing to comply with regulations pertaining to removal, wetting and containment.

The federal demolition and renovation standards are crucial to ensuring the health and safety of the work crews on these sites as well as members of the general public. EPA’s inspections were conducted in close coordination with state partners at the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety.

Each recipient of the order is obligated under the reporting requirement, to provide EPA with information about recent or planned actions to address the conditions of noncompliance at the site, to ensure the safety of the work crews and the general public. The building has been vacated for these renovations and is scheduled to reopen in 2009 for various federal occupants, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s New England Office, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts.


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