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January 8, 1997

Unlawful asbestos removal nets jail terms

TUMWATER - Two King County men have been fined and jailed following a joint state/federal task force investigation into the removal of asbestos-containing materials earlier this year during the renovation of a Renton bank building.

The Department of Labor & Industries cited and fined Jeffrey Kindelspire, of Lake Sammamish, a total of $64,700 for willfully violating worker safety rules governing the removal of asbestos-containing materials. In addition, Kindelspire pleaded guilty to felony theft charges and misdemeanor violations of the Clean Air Act in connection with the project at Old Key Bank, 201 Williams Ave. S., Renton. He currently is serving a 15-month sentence.

Mark Berner of Renton also was cited and fined $49,500 for willfully violating worker safety rules regulating asbestos removal. He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor violations in connection with the project and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

L&I cited Kindelspire for unlawfully posing as a certified asbestos contractor and eight willfull violations of worker safety rules regulating asbestos removal. Specifically, Kindelspire and Berner were cited for:

  • Improperly disposing of asbestos-containing materials.
  • Failing to use certified workers when removing asbestos.
  • Failing to provide appropriate respiratory protection to workers.
  • Failing to provide appropriate decontamination facilities for workers.
  • Failing to use appropriate removal procedures and ensure that all asbestos was removed.
  • Failing to set up a negative-pressure enclosure during asbestos removal.
  • Failing to conduct air monitoring as required during asbestos removal.
  • Failing to notify the department prior to the removal of asbestos.

The violations stemmed from the removal and disposal of asbestos-containing pipe insulation and floor tile at the renovation project. Both men have appealed the violations to the state Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.

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