A trio of companies will shell out a combined $75,000 for violating Wisconsin’s asbestos handling laws.
The hefty sum stems from a 2018 building demolition that lacked proper controls or inspections for asbestos, according to a Jan. 25 announcement from Wisconsin’s attorney general.
Under the judgment, Alliance Construction and Design will pay $37,500 in forfeitures, penalties and fees, while the remaining $37,500 will be split between the property owner, Amerco Real Estate Company, and rental company U-Haul Co. of Wisconsin.
“Asbestos presents serious health risks,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “Companies must do their part ... by following state law regarding inspection for and removal of asbestos.”
The five-violation complaint states that Alliance contracted with Amerco in 2018 to tear down a building in Oshkosh to make way for a U-Haul storage facility. While the deal was struck in March, a formal contract for the work wasn’t inked until mid-May, months after the demolition had begun.
According to the complaint, nobody notified the state prior to starting demolition and none of the initial crew were trained in asbestos removal.
Even after a specialty firm was hired to inspect for asbestos, violations occurred, the complaint states, citing untreated pipe-fitting debris that turned out to be 4 percent asbestos.
The complaint also noted that asbestos on site wasn’t treated with water prior to demolition. All of these issues ran afoul of state code. Despite all these issues, the three companies were able to reach a compromise with the state before a suit was filed, according to the attorney general’s announcement.