Marco, company agree to pay more than $81,000 to settle asbestos mess

After lengthy negotiations, Marco Island’s asbestos-laced nightmares are over.

On Thursday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it had entered into an administrative consent agreement with both the City of Marco Island and Quality Enterprises USA.

The agreement settles allegations that the city and the company violated the Clean Air Act and the federal asbestos regulations, known as the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos.

According to a statement released by the EPA Thursday afternoon, under the agreement Marco Island and Quality Enterprises agreed to pay a penalty of $81,722.

Meanwhile, in accordance with a separate agreement between the city and Quality Enterprises, Quality will pay the entire penalty.

The alleged violations occurred during the city’s Collier Boulevard road-widening and sewer and drinking water pipe installation project that began in 2005. The city and construction firm were found by the EPA to have improperly handled toxic asbestos-containing cement pipe on Marco several years ago.

The agreement was finalized on Wednesday, the release said.

The news was welcomed by Marco Island City Council Chairman Frank Recker.

“We knew this was coming,” said Recker adding that city leaders had been working with the EPA to resolve the issue. “We are certainly delighted that it is now behind us.”

In May, leaders from Marco Island and Quality Enterprises flew to Atlanta to negotiate a settlement with the EPA. They sought to avoid hefty fines from the EPA.

Cleanup actions were completed in accordance with the work plans in May 2007, April 2008 and November 2008 respectively.

Subsequent confirmatory soil sampling did not indicate the presence of any remaining asbestos fibers, said EPA spokeswoman Dawn Harris-Young in the statement.

Recker added that the EPA sent the city a letter, confirming there were no limitations or restrictions to the use of the property.

“In my mind that equates a clean bill of health (for the park),” he said.

Under the Consent Agreement, the city and Quality have certified that they are in compliance with all relevant requirements of the asbestos regulations.

The alleged violations of the asbestos regulations included:

• Failure to conduct a thorough inspection for asbestos prior to the excavation of asbestos-containing cement piping

• Failure to provide timely written notification to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection prior to beginning the construction project

• Failure to remove the excavated asbestos-containing piping prior to conducting construction activity that would break up, dislodge or disturb the asbestos material

• Failure to adequately wet and keep wet the excavated asbestos-containing piping until disposed

• Failure to have on-site a supervisor properly trained in the asbestos regulations

• Failure to properly dispose of the excavated asbestos-containing piping and asbestos-contaminated debris as soon as practical.

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Comments » 9

MarcoJimbo writes:

Sit back and watch how many lucrative contracts (low bid plus change orders) Rony Joel awards to QE to help them out of this mess.

multi_million_heir writes:

in response to MarcoJimbo:

Sit back and watch how many lucrative contracts (low bid plus change orders) Rony Joel awards to QE to help them out of this mess.

Maybe some tarball spotting gigs on the beach for QE? I mean they are hazmat certified now right? Brilliant.

dc5799 writes:

What say you now that they were found guilty?
Maybe now you will keep your mouth shut.

sailingalong writes:

Why is Ronny Joel still working for Marco Island? Why is City Hall named after the liar "The asbestos was planted by citizens and I have the pictures to prove it." E Glenn Tucker?

The message is clear. City Hall stands for a lack of integrity, dishonesty and incompetence. What better name would you give it? E. Glenn Tucker captures those qualties better than anyone in the history of the island.

RayPray writes:

Alas, more incompetence than dishonesty....

lauralbi1 writes:

dc5799: The question is not how I feel or think, butg does this satisfy you ?? These conclusions were never a secret and the violations were never a secret. Nowhere does it discuss any "potential or actual impact, in fact statements by the EPA actually state that no adverse aeffects occurred as a result of these violations. The Clean Air Act further defines Hazardous Material in quantities larger than what was seen on Marco. Nothing to do with the violations.

As we can all say now, if Mr. Foster and Mr. sanchez are happy orf not, this will shut them up. And that is great for the Island.

Do you feel vindicated from this $81,000 payment ?? If so, it was worth every penny.
Ed Issler

Fossil writes:

What I can't understand is, why didn't we just pay the EPA the $81,000 to issue us a clean bill no worry certificate up front? Was the half hearted cleanup even necessary? Or was it an excuse to pay another contractor for unnecessary cleanup work? Someone should let BP know about this. For a pittance they can remove all the heat they are taking. Fresh aromatic floating fish could be harvested along with some of those new blackened oyseters, or the tasty petroleum deep fried spicy gulf shrimp. Happy to hear all is good with Veteran's park. So when do we start digging and building on that site? Any asbestos found during future development or construction isn't there. That certification is paid for and we are good to go.

Brillo writes:

Watch out. There will be photographs taken of all digging at Veteran's Park to make sure that no asbestos is planted at the site. So what if there are no photographs, from where I am they can only name a brick oven after me. E.G.T.

Stilllaughing writes:

I wonder if QE is going totake that out of Joel's kickback ??

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