Iowa AG announces $80,000 order for environmental violations

By Bryan Cohen | Oct 1, 2013

MARENGO, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced an $80,000 order Monday against a West Des Moines company and its owner for allegedly violating state environmental laws when it demolished a Williamsburg truck stop.

Iowa District Court Judge Paul Miller assessed the civil penalty against Jai Santoshi Ma Inc. and Bhupan Patel, the company's owner, for allegedly engaging in environmental violations during and after the demolition of the former Middle America Truck Stop.

Miller filed a petition in April alleging that Patel and his corporation arranged to demolish the truck stop in May and June 2012 but failed to inspect the site for asbestos and notify the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. DNR inspections found that the demolition waste included asbestos-containing material.

The defendants allegedly buried some demolition debris on-site and sent other debris to a landfill for disposal without identifying the waste as containing asbestos and left the debris in open air for several weeks without wetting it down to prevent the release of asbestos.

Under the terms of a consent judgment, Patel and Jai Santoshi Ma must pay the state an $80,000 civil penalty, refrain from further violations, provide the state with test results, invoices and reports related to the demolition, and identify and properly dispose of all asbestos-contaminated soil at the site.

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