Criminal charges made against asbestos removers in Massachusetts

John O'Brien Nov. 8, 2007, 12:48pm


FITCHBURG, Mass. - A interagency task force overseen by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley recently charged two men with illegal asbestos removal.

Coakley says Francis Tramontozzi, 72, and his son Thomas, 47 did not notify the Department of Environmental Protection and caused asbestos emissions to be released. As a result, each was charged with violating the state's Clean Air Act.

The two were arraigned Nov. 5.

The Environmental Crimes Strike Force, a joint effort of Coakley's office and Secretary of Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles, learned of the case approximately one year ago. The Tramontozzis owned the property from which they were removing asbestos.

In May 2006, a Board of Health Violation noticed was issued to Francis, who was ordered to fix the asbestos problem. When an inspector returned several months later, the deteriorating asbestos insulation was not fixed, Coakley says.

In Sept. 2006, Francis said Thomas had repaired the insulation. After a review by the Board of Health found asbestos debris and powder lying uncontained in an area surrounding the building, the state's DEP was contacted, Coakley says.

The Tramontozzis were released on their own recognizance and will appear in court Dec. 18 for a pre-trial conference.

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