Detroit Halts Vacant Home Demolition Due to Asbestos

April 9, 2010

Michigan environmental officials say Detroit’s effort to demolish 3,000 decaying homes and buildings violates state and federal laws.

City officials say they’ve halted the project, under which just one house has been razed, until they can address the Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s concerns.

The DNRE has accuseed the city of ignoring regulations that require the removal of asbestos, a carcinogenic fiber commonly found in many old Detroit homes, before starting to tear them down. DNRE spokesman Robert McCann said the city also failed to notify the state of its demolition plans, as required by law.

City officials told the Detroit Free Press they weren’t aware the program was violating federal regulations.

The city this year has torn down some houses in danger of collapsing.

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