Boise Man Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Disposing Asbestos Waste From Construction Site

A Boise, Idaho construction supervisor faces prison after illegally disposing asbestos waste from a project site in direct violation of the federal Clean Air Act. Douglas Greiner pled guilty to the violations.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in his supervisory role, Greiner did not properly manage his crew in the safe removal and disposal of asbestos laden pipe from a municipal sewer system project for the town of Orofino. In addition to the improper handling of the asbestos pipe, the EPA alleged that the during the disposal process, soil contaminated with asbestos was inappropriately dumped at sixteen different waste collection sites.

In an effort to address the contamination at the waste sites, the EPA pumped nearly $4 million to properly abate the asbestos soil.

Edward Locke, the United States District Court judge for Boise overseeing the case, acknowledged that Greiner did not deliberately violate the Clean Air Act or instruct his crew to improperly dispose of the asbestos piping. Instead, the six month prison sentence imposed on Greiner was directed at the construction industry at-large to ensure that there will not be any leniency when it comes to the safe disposal of toxic and hazardous materials.

Asbestos is a carcinogenic material commonly used in a variety of plumbing and building supplies, though applications for asbestos vary. Since asbestos is naturally fibrous, it can be easily added to or combined with other materials for strengthening or insulating. If handled improperly, small asbestos particles can break off contaminating the air or the surrounding environment. Inhaling air contaminated with asbestos can lead to severe medical conditions including various types of lung disease, asbestos and mesothelioma cancer.

On Monday, Judge Locke sentenced another man, Bradley Eberhart, to six months in jail for his role in the Orofino project. Along with Greiner, Eberhart, a foreman who worked under Greiner, will be subjected to six months of home confinement and six months of supervised release after completing their jail sentence.

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