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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dearborn Man Sentenced For Clean Air Act Violations

A Dearborn man was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison after having pleaded guilty to criminal violations of the Clean Air Act, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Randall Ashe, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal investigation division in Chicago.  

Khalil Mahmoud Saad, 40, was sentenced yesterday before United States District Judge Paul D. Borman in Detroit.

According to court records, in November 2011, Saad was hired as a demolition contractor to tear down a vacant commercial warehouse building located at 10401 Ford Road, Dearborn, Michigan, and dispose of the demolition debris.  An asbestos consultant hired by the defendant inspected the building before the demolition began, and identified more than one-thousand linear feet of asbestos-containing pipe insulation, as well as asbestos-containing insulation on a large boiler.  Federal law required that all of the asbestos materials had to be removed properly before any activity began that would break up, dislodge or similarly disturb the material.  Rather than pay for the removal of the asbestos, Saad hired workers in April 2012 to tear down the warehouse building and failed to follow proper procedures such as failing to adequately wet regulated asbestos-containing material and ensure that it remained wet until collected or treated in preparation for disposal, both violations of the Clean Air Act’s asbestos regulations. 

“The temptation is great to save money by cutting corners when tearing down buildings by failing to properly abate asbestos, but that conduct contaminates our clean air and exposes people to hazardous materials,” McQuade said.  “We hope that prosecutions like this one will encourage people to comply with the law and keep our air clean.”

“Exposure to asbestos can lead to serious, even fatal diseases, and unsafe asbestos removal and demolition practices put the health of both the workers and the public at risk,” said Ashe.  “For that reason, it is critical that those in charge of demolition operations strictly comply with the federal asbestos laws.  The Defendant chose to ignore those legal requirements, potentially putting others at risk.  Today’s sentence demonstrates that those who knowingly engage in such conduct will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Michigan, by Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer Gorland, Jennifer Blackwell and Special Assistant United States Attorney James Cha.   The case was investigated by agents of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division.

Updated March 19, 2015