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Allegheny County Health Department Issues Civil Penalties, Warnings Over Air Quality Violations

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

Editor’s Note: The Allegheny County Health Department periodically updates its website to include documents related to air quality enforcement actions. As part of our watchdog work, GASP monitors this webpage, and reports on the air quality violations posted there.

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) has assessed civil penalties and issued formal warnings to various companies that violated local air quality rules. Here are the newest enforcement actions posted to the department’s website – the majority of which are asbestos-related:

ACHD Reaches Settlement Over Asbestos Abatement Violation

The Allegheny County Health Department on June 16 entered into a settlement agreement with a local couple and their son regarding asbestos abatement during the renovation project at 5401 Penn Avenue.

The agreement states that a building renovation project proceeded without a thorough asbestos survey being completed and provided to ACHD as required. The settlement included a fine of $1,100.

You can read the entire settlement agreement here.

ACHD Issues Civil Penalty to Company, Commercial Property Owner Over Asbestos Infractions

A Monroeville construction company and local commercial property owner were assessed a civil penalty of $2,750 on June 2 over asbestos-related to a demolition permit issued in 2019.

The enforcement order against Jadell Minniefield Construction and Curtis Morehead is concerning their failure to submit the required asbestos-abatement survey associated with the demolition of a commercial structure at 2214 Centre Ave. in the Hill District.

The order indicates that as of the date of the enforcement action, neither Jadell Minniefield Construction nor Morehead has submitted that documentation.

No further information on the action was available on the ACHD website. You can read the entire enforcement order here.

ACHD Issues Notice of Violation Against Local School District Over Emissions Recordkeeping

ACHD on May 26 issued a notice of violation letter to the Chartiers Valley School District for failing to submit its certification of compliance with the terms of its operating permits – including emissions limitations, standards, and work practices as well as required semi-annual reports – at its high school, middle school, intermediate school, and elementary school.

“The Department requests that Chartiers Valley School District provide to the Department its required reporting in a timely manner, no later than the dates specified in the issued operating permits,” the letter stated.

You can read the entire letter here.

Company Put on Notice for Expired Asbestos Abatement License

ACHD on May 25 issued a warning letter to Bristol Environmental and one of its employees, Robert Darras, because of a lapsed state building inspector/supervisor license, which is necessary for commercial asbestos abatement.

According to the letter, ACHD discovered that Darras supervised abatement activities at a structure located at 3990 Fifth Ave. when inspectors conducted a final inspection of the property on May 19. Darras, whose license expired on May 12, supervised the abatement activities.

The letter put the company and Darras on notice that failure to maintain the license in the future could result in further enforcement action that could include a $25,000-a-day civil penalty as well as summary criminal penalties.

You can read the entire letter here.

Civil Penalty Issued Over Asbestos Violation Over Demo of Robinson Twp. Restuarant

ACHD on April 22 issued a civil penalty of $975 to Bedford Development and Itek Construction over an asbestos-related violation at 6288 Steubenville Pike in Robinson Township that occurred in March of 2021.

According to the enforcement order, the companies failed to submit an asbestos survey 10-days before the demolition of the former Wendy’s restaurant there, as county air quality regulations required.

The order notes the violation was later corrected, and the survey the companies ultimately submitted showed no asbestos-containing materials in the building before its demolition.

No further information is available about the action on the ACHD website. You can read the entire enforcement order here.

Civil Penalties Issued for Unauthorized Removal of Asbestos from Mt. Oliver Demolition Sites

ACHD on May 25 issued a notice of violation to General Contracting Corp. for unauthorized removal of asbestos from the demolition of two residential structures at 165 and 167 Penn Avenue in Mt. Oliver.

According to the notice, permits issued to the company required the entire structure to be treated as asbestos-containing material. During a record review, ACHD determined the permits for the building demolition expired on June 10, 2021, and that the company had not received requests for final clearance inspections for either permitted project.

ACHD contacted General Contracting on Sept. 27, 2021, to confirm the demolition projects were complete and requested personal air clearance paperwork for the demolitions. On September 29, 2021, the company submitted the final air clearance results to ACHD.

Then, on Oct. 15, 2021, ACHD performed final clearance inspections “and deemed both projects to be acceptable.”

However, local air quality regulations require a final clearance inspection to be performed before allowing the project area to be opened to the public. At the time of the final clearance inspections, the project areas did not restrict public access.

For this, ACHD assessed a $2,600 civil penalty.

No further information was available on the ACHD website about the case. You can read the entire notice of violation here.

ACHD Issues Civil Penalty Against Sewickley Rehab Hospital that Skipped Permits

Encompass Health Sewickley Rehabilitation Hospital in Sewickley on May 25 was issued a civil penalty of $2,420 for installing and operating equipment at its 351 Camp Meeting Road facility without first obtaining an installation permit from the Allegheny County Health Department.

The facility was operating an emergency generator, a 6,000-gallon above-ground fuel storage tank, and three heating boilers. Local air quality regulations require an installation permit for those pieces of equipment, which emit air pollution.

You can read the entire enforcement order here.

Moon Company Fined for Air Quality-Related Recordkeeping Violation

ACHD on April 22 issued an enforcement order against Moon Township-based Buckeye Terminals for submitting an air quality-related certificate of compliance for May 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2019, on Feb. 21, 2021 – one year late. A $1,080 civil penalty was also assessed.

You can read the entire enforcement order here.

ACHD Issues Stop-Work Order Over Asbestos Abatement Violations

ACHD on March 25 issued a stop-work order to Carpenter Construction In. for violations that occurred at 5556 Black Street in East Liberty.

According to the order, the company conducted abrasive blasting “in a manner that allowed air contaminants into the open air.”

The order also indicated that Carpenter Construction conducted that abrasive blasting without first submitting to ACHD independent lab test results showing the lead content as required.

ACHD ordered the company to immediately stop all work until that report is submitted.

No further information on this case was available on the ACHD website. You can read the entire administrative field order here.

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