Three owners of a Tennessee demolition company have reportedly been sentenced to federal prison after being convicted of illegally demolishing a factory in Chattanooga without removing asbestos it contained. United States v. Fillers, No. 09-144 (E.D. Tenn. sentencing 10/01/12). The three were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 18 months to four years and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine and serve three years of supervised release following their prison terms. Their company, the Watkins Street Project, was ordered to pay a $30,000 fine, and the three owners were ordered to pay an additional $27,899 to reimburse federal and local agencies for their response and cleanup costs at the site.
In January 2012, the three defendants were convicted of purposely violating the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants, which require certain measures to be taken to ensure the safe and proper handling, removal and disposal of asbestos during renovation or demolition work. According to reports, nearby residences, businesses and a day-care center were potentially exposed to asbestos through airborne dust from the salvage and demolition activities. The defendants also falsified documents and statements in an effort to cover up their illegal activities. See Department of Justice News Release, October 1, 2012.