SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Town Fair Tire Centers of Massachusetts will pay $81,000 in penalties to settle allegations of illegal asbestos work during the expansion of their Springfield store.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced the settlement Wednesday.
Healey’s office filed a lawsuit against Town Fair Tire alleging that employees illegally removed and disposed of asbestos-containing insulation during the Boston Road store expansion, violating the state’s clean air and solid waste management laws.
“Shoddy and unlicensed asbestos removal endangers workers and the public,” Healey said in a news release sent to 22News. “Our office enforces the law to protect residents from the serious health risks of asbestos.”
Healey alleges that the asbestos-containing insulation was thrown away in unsecured commercial waste dumpsters behind the store, and stayed there for two months until a licensed asbestos contractor.
In addition to the $81,000 payment in penalties to the state, Town Fair Tire must also publish notifications in the New England Real Estate Journal to inform the public about the need to strictly follow the state’s requirements for asbestos abatement projects to protect people from asbestos exposure.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Health, asbestos is “a naturally occurring, mostly fibrous mineral that has been used in a variety of building products and industrial settings over the years because of its resistance to heat, fire, and many caustic chemicals.”
When inhaled, Mass DEP says fibers can cause asbestosis, a chronic lung condition, cancer, and mesothelioma.