Detroit has been fined by the state $24,500 in eight months for environmental safety violations by contractors hired as contractors to demolish homes as part of the city’s long-running blight elimination campaign.
Why it matters: To protect residents’ health, these violations of asbestos-handling safeguards were made.
- According to Axios, four home demolition sites were discovered by state inspectors that had violated national asbestos regulations.
- This isn’t the first violation of environmental rules that led the state and city to take this action. 2018 consent judgmentThey also instituted fines, and more inspections.
The big picture Mayor Mike Duggan’s priority since taking office in 2014 has been to demolish the city’s large number of blighted houses.
Driving the news According to the demolition department’s report, some businesses have failed to properly inspect and secure sites for contaminants or remove asbestos. Reports.
- Between March and August 2021, Detroit had no asbestos-related violations. This is in comparison to nine violations that Detroit had recorded between March 2021 and March 2021 by companies Rickman Enterprise Group and Detroit Next, Salenbien Trucking & Excavating and SC Environmental Services, Mannik Smith Group, and others.
- Some companies are appealing violation notices.
Not to be missed: According to LaJuanCounts, director of Detroit Demolition Department, and a state spokesperson, contractors who disobeyed asbestos protocol were corrected prior to demolition.
- Asbestos can cause lung cancer and other problems. However, it’s not generally found in the air after it’s released during a construction project or tear-down.
What they are saying:Because of the large number of demolitions in Detroit, it is important to ensure that these protocols are followed, according to Nick Schroek, associate dean at University of Detroit Mercy. He is also an environmental law expert.
- “I like to see enforcement because it means that the city and the state are paying attention and that wasn’t the case before,” Schroek told Axios.
What’s next:Counts stated that the demolition department is penalizing contractors, and boosting its environmental team from six to eleven to help prevent future violations.
- She said that the city is making contractors pay the state’s fines because it isn’t doing the work.