Division for Air Quality
DEP Takes Action to Remediate Asbestos Site

Press Release Date:  Friday, October 31, 2008  
Contact Information:  Contact:
DAQ: Elizabeth Robb Schmitz
502-564-3999 Ext. 4404
502-330-3849 (cell)
Labor: Kembra Taylor

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Oct. 31, 2008 – The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) has moved quickly to remediate a demolition site in Horse Cave, previously known as the Independent Tobacco Warehouse, containing mulch contaminated with asbestos.

Notices of Violation have been delivered to the responsible parties.  Farmer’s Investment Corporation, the property owner, and Armster Wood Reclamation Company, the contractor responsible for the demolition are charged with failure to notify the Division for Air Quality (DAQ) of demolition plans, failure to survey for asbestos prior to demolition, improper handling of asbestos, and improper disposal of asbestos.

“The Bowling Regional Office staff has organized a set of remediation strategies in an efficient and capable manner.  From our notification of the issue on Tuesday, Oct. 21, agency staff have worked closely with local officials to both ensure the protection of public health and that the material is disposed of safely,” said DEP Commissioner Bruce Scott.

On Oct. 22, under the direction of DEP, Farmer’s Investment Corporation restricted access to the site, preventing further release of the contaminated materials.  Thursday, a certified asbestos contractor began transporting the mulch to a landfill approved to handle friable asbestos.  Residents in the area can expect to see heightened activity at the site due to the number of contractors, state, and local personnel involved in the clean up.

DEP continues to encourage any individuals who may have taken the mulch from the site to their homes or businesses to notify the DAQ Regional Office in Bowling Green at 270-746-7475, so that DAQ can coordinate with the responsible parties to have the material safely removed by certified contractors at no charge.

Dust, from methodologically selected businesses and homes in the immediate vicinity, was sampled as a precautionary measure to determine if it had been contaminated.  Initial sampling results came back late Thursday afternoon as detecting no measurable asbestos. Further sampling will continue in the immediate vicinity to ensure a clear picture of potential contamination. The dust sampling will determine the extent of cleanup needed, if any, but it will not determine levels of personal exposure, if any, or health effects from any exposure.

Possible exposure levels may vary from the dust level found in buildings in the area because people do not stay in one place all the time.  Any adverse health effects would be related to the concentration, frequency and duration of exposure.  If you live in the immediate area and think you have been exposed, you may wish to consult with your doctor.

All concerned citizens are invited to attend a meeting at the Horse Cave City Hall at 6:00 P.M. CST on November 3.  Local and state officials will be on hand to address any concerns or questions.

Meanwhile, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet has opened an investigation into possible OSHA violations.