Today's News

15-count indictment alleges individual directed and hid illegal asbestos removal (6/22)

June 22, 2009
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

A federal grand jury in the Western District of New York, has returned an indictment charging Keith Gordon-Smith, owner of an asbestos removal company, with numerous violations of the Clean Air Act, submitting false statements and obstruction of justice, the Justice Department announced.

The charges stem from allegations that Gordon-Smith directed and caused illegal asbestos removal at several sites in the Rochester, N.Y., area, and hid the illegal asbestos removal from federal agencies.

The Clean Air Act requires contractors who remove asbestos from public buildings to follow federally established work practice standards to ensure the safe removal of the asbestos. The required standards include providing notice to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before commencing asbestos removal, adequately wetting the asbestos during the removal and before disposal, and properly disposing of the asbestos at an EPA-approved disposal site.

The 15-count indictment alleges that between June 2006 and August 2008, Gordon-Smith had employees of his asbestos abatement company, Gordon-Smith Contracting Inc., remove asbestos from schools and a hospital in the Rochester area, without ensuring that the asbestos was kept adequately wet or properly disposed. The indictment also alleges that Gordon-Smith took several steps to hide the illegal asbestos removal from federal agencies. These included failing to provide prior notification to EPA before the asbestos removal projects were performed at the schools and hospital, giving false statements to an inspector from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and providing a false notification to the EPA.

If convicted, Gordon-Smith could be punished by up to five years in prison as well as a criminal fine of up to $250,000 for each count.

Once Gordon-Smith is arraigned, and in accordance with the Crimes Victims Rights Act, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York will be providing a public notice in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle to notify potential victims who may have been directly and proximately harmed as a result of the alleged crimes. The notice will include information directing potential victims to a website as well as a contact phone number established by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York and the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section. The case was investigated by the EPA Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

9/9/14 2:00 pm EDT

Welding: It doesn't have to be a grind. The latest in respiratory protection and PPE for welders and grinder

Attendees of this webinar will gain knowledge of hazards and appropriate PPE for welding applications, regulatory drivers that are changing the landscape of PPE within welding applications and the latest product technologies being offered in welding PPE.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN_0814cov.jpg

2014 August

Check out ISHN's August issue which features content about pain prevention, forklift operation safety and a preview of the National Safety Congress and Expo.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - May 2014

ISHN0514FDO_cover.jpgFor Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THEMAY 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.