GENERAL CONTRACTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO CLEAN AIR ACT
VIOLATION FOR ILLEGAL REMOVAL OF ASBESTOS IN
Peter DeFilippo, 48, a New York-based general contractor who performed demolition work at Providence at Harbour Club Apartments in Belleville, Michigan in June 2008, pleaded guilty today to one count of violating the Clean Air Act. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade for the Eastern District of Michigan, and Randall Ashe, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement in Chicago.
According to the plea agreement, in or about June 2008, Peter DeFilippo, who had contracted through his company, Excel Demo, Inc., to supervise the demolition of a fire-damaged building at Harbour Club Apartments in Belleville, Michigan, became aware that the building contained a regulated amount of asbestos-containing materials. DeFilippo knew that these materials had to be removed in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Despite that knowledge, DeFilippo authorized others to remove the asbestos-containing materials on or about June 27 and 28, 2008, without complying with the regulations, including the failure to submit a 10-day notification prior to disturbing asbestos-containing materials; failure to include a trained on-site representative; failure to adequately wet the materials; and failure to dispose of the materials with proper labeling and warnings.
Two other defendants, Joseph Terranova, who supervised capital projects for GFI Management Services, Inc., the property management company for Harbour Club, and David Olsen, a firefighter who performed work outside the scope of his employment for Peter DeFilippo, were also indicted, and are scheduled for trial on May 16.
United States Attorney McQuade stated, “"The U.S. Attorney's Office has made environmental enforcement a priority because clean water and clean air is essential to Michigan's future."
"Exposure to asbestos can be fatal, and unsafe asbestos removal practices put the health of both the workers and the public at risk," said Ashe. "This conviction demonstrates that the government will take action against those who are alleged to have broken the law."
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Michigan by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Blackwell and Special Assistant United States Attorney Crissy Pellegrin. The case is being investigated by agents with EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement.