MARCH 2010

New Mexico contractor to pay penalty for violations during dorm demolition

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and Arizona Attorney General’s Office announced that an Albuquerque, New Mexico contractor has agreed to pay a $225,000 penalty under a consent judgment for asbestos air quality violations. The violations occurred during the 2007 demolition of the Bureau of Indian Affairs school dormitory in Holbrook.

In May 2007, a subcontractor for Gerald A. Martin Ltd., a New Mexico corporation, began demolition of the dormitory. As the general contractor that was responsible for overseeing the demolition activities, Gerald A. Martin Ltd. was required to ensure compliance with asbestos removal and handling procedures prior to the demolition of the building. In August 2007, analysis revealed that materials containing asbestos were disturbed during the demolition of the dormitory.

In August 2007, ADEQ issued an Order of Abatement to Gerald A. Martin Ltd. requiring compliance with state and federal asbestos air quality requirements. After consulting with ADEQ on measures to reduce the health risks associated with the removal of the contaminated debris, Gerald A. Martin Ltd. reportedly spent more than $900,000 handling and disposing of the asbestos in the demolition debris in accordance with approved procedures. All of the demolition debris was removed by Nov. 7, 2007.

The consent judgment is subject to court approval.