by Nicole Reitz
Edward Palmer, owner of Carbonsted, LCC, pled guilty in federal court to a felony violation of the Clean Air Act.
Palmer is from Phoenix and the owner of the former Nestle Plant. He admitted recently that he engaged in illegal asbestos removal. The asbestos was in a building that he owned along fourth street, not Building 95, the most recent building torn down.
Federal prosecutors say the plant contained pipes with more than 2,000 feet of friable asbestos insulation.
Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward said that Palmer was getting rid of what he calls “jumbos,” or steel tanks that Nestle used to circulate steam. The pipes leading to the tanks had asbestos on them.
“He had employees inside the building working for him, but told me that he had to let them go,” said Woodward. “Those workers then blew him in to the Department of Labor for improperly exposing them to asbestos.”
To best handle asbestos, the area needs to be incapsulated and sealed off so that no material becomes airborne.
Federal prosecutors say that Palmer directed his unlicensed workers to perform asbestos abatement without first wetting the asbestos and keeping it wet. They also claim that Palmer also failed to dispose off the asbestos at a state-approved landfill.
“Asbestos is in a lot of those older buildings, in brick insulation, floor titles and caulk for windows,” said Woodward. “He should have had a survey and a lab test done. We take those steps when the city tears down a house.”
Woodward said that there is no public health concern for residents who live near the former Nestle Building. The only people at risk are the unlicensed workers that were in the building at the time of asbestos removal.
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