Bryan Cohen Oct. 25, 2012, 6:52pm

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a lawsuit on Wednesday against an Acushnet man who allegedly failed to properly remove asbestos shingles from three New Bedford homes he renovated.

Ronald Oliveira allegedly failed to follow proper safety precautions and procedures when removing materials that contained asbestos from three multi-family homes. The lawsuit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, seeks civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day for each Massachusetts Clean Air Act violation.

"Asbestos removal must be done properly in order to prevent exposure to asbestos fibers, which can create serious health risks," Coakley said.

On three separate occasions between September 2009 and April 2011, Oliveira arranged for the renovation of three multi-family homes in New Bedford, two of which he owns and rents out to tenants. In the midst of the renovation, the contractors Oliveira hired allegedly caused asbestos fibers from asbestos shingles to be released into the air despite not holding a license to remove asbestos.

Additionally, Oliveira and the contractors allegedly failed to remove the shingles prior to renovation, failed to maintain adequate wetness to prevent asbestos dust, and failed to seal, label or cover containers with asbestos shingles during the renovation project.

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