The City Council Packet offer much to discuss and review this week. The Manager’s response / report on the IG’s Letter (tomorrow’s Post) along with the City Solicitors view on the Tech SChool Committee Agenda (Next Post) make-up and this report on the great Asbetos Hunt at the LHA.
1) EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT OF LABOR STANDARDS Report on the LHA’s North Common Village Construction Project. This was the hunt for the Asbetos. I’ve attached the report but the basic things you need to know.
A) On January 31, 2012, Heather Rowe, Director of the Department of Labor Standards (“DLS”), received a telephone call from Lowell City Councilor Rodney Elliott regarding an on-going renovation project at a Lowell Housing Authority (LHA) complex,known as North Common Village, located at 604 Main Street, Lowell, MA. Councilor
Elliott asked Director Rowe whether DLS had any knowledge or involvement with the LEA renovation project.
B) on February 3, 2012, Director Rowe received a letter from Lowell City Manager Bernard Lynch, notifying the agency of an accusation, by a former employee of the City, of possible mishandling of asbestos containing
material and/or lead-based material during renovations at North Common Village.
C) In response to a number of requests by DLS Chief of Investigations and Enforcement, Brian Wong, LHA provided copies of documents relating to North Common Village, including: prior lead inspection reports of North
Common Village with associated Letters of Compliances; two memoranda from the City Manager dated December 2,2011 and December 16,2011; email responses to DLS questions; charts related to dates of de-leading certifications and dates of completion of renovation work; and reports from two asbestos consultant companies containing results
of asbestos samp ling.
D) It is unclear to DLS whether asbestos was present in the units during the time frame that the demolition and renovation work was performed. In either event, LHA was required to determine whether any asbestos containing materials (both non-friable and friable) were present at the North Common Village, and whether or not such materials would be impacted by the proposed work, prior to undertaking any demolition or renovation work on the North Common Village. See 3J0 ClviR 7.15. DLS was informed by Ms. Maciejewski that no asbestos sampling was performed until 2011, as evidenced by the dates on the reports provided to DLS. The Massachusetts
Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) administers 310 CMR 7.15.
LHA violated the provisions that required LHA to become licensed as a Lead Safe Renovation Contractor or obtain a Contractor Licensing Waiver, and train the workers who perform the work. Such violations could have resulted in the
assessment ofa civil penalty to the LHA.