State fines company for asbestos violations at Northampton job

  • The Massachusetts state flag AP FILE PHOTO/STEVEN SENNE

Staff Writer
Published: 2/17/2021 11:43:09 AM

NORTHAMPTON — Abide Inc, an East Longmeadow company, is being fined $26,100 by the state Department of Environmental Protection for asbestos violations at a Northampton job where the company was doing asbestos abatement.

At an unannounced inspection in December 2019 at 320 Riverside Drive, a commercial property where the company was working, the DEP found violations.

“Abide personnel had failed to completely isolate the work area and were not properly operating the high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration system correctly by venting the air into a water-filled sump within the work area,” the DEP announced in a statement Tuesday. 

The DEP came back the next day and said problems pointed out the previous day were fixed, but that the company didn’t file the necessary paperwork to keep working at the site. Abide, Inc. also “failed to fully decontaminate all surfaces adequately within the work area, and had taken the HEPA system out of operation prior to meeting visual inspection requirements that ensure complete removal of the asbestos-containing materials,” the statement reads.

“Asbestos is a known carcinogen and following required work practices is imperative to protect workers, as well as the building tenants and the general public,” Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office, said in a statement.

Abide did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on Wednesday. 

The company will be paying $6,525 of the fine, the DEP said, and as part of the enforcement action, the company will be fixing asbestos-filled floors at Pittsfield High School, a job worth more than $11,000. If the company obeys asbestos rules in the future, the rest of the fine will be waived, according to the DEP.  

Greta Jochem can be reached at 

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