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New York County Pays Fine for Illegal Asbestos Removal

Cayuha Country New York legislators agreed to pay a $10,000 fine in order to resolve illegal removal of asbestos at a county building last year. The fine was issued by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and could have been much higher had they not reached an agreement.

The fine stems from the removal of asbestos from the county’s Board of Elections building in March 2006. Despite the payment, the county still faces at least one more pending violation and a class action lawsuit by people who claim they were exposed to asbestos.

What started as a simple replacement project for asbestos used on a boiler turned into a scandal when it was revealed the asbestos was handled improperly when it was removed. When it was discovered, the building was temporarily closed and the county was investigated by federal prosecutors (though no charges are expected). Earlier this year the contractor in charge of the work pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act.