Oregon Fire Department Faces Environmental Fine

June 13, 2011

The Philomath Fire Department says it will appeal a state fine for improper asbestos removal, saying it unintentionally hired an unlicensed firm to do the work.

The Corvallis Gazette-Times reports the state Department of Environmental Quality announced a proposed fine of $6,000 against the fire department and more than $4,000 against the company that did the removal.

The fire department removed a 32-square-foot piece of asbestos-laced linoleum in October.

The company hired for the removal, T.W. Flooring Inc. of Corvallis, isn’t licensed to remove asbestos.

Fire Chief Tom Phelps says he thought the small amount of asbestos present in the linoleum didn’t carry the need to hire a licensed firm.

The department can lessen the fine if it can convince the state environmental department that it wasn’t reckless in the removal.

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