NEW YORK An Ohio court has fined Arthur David Sugar Sr. and several of his affiliated companies $850,000 for the improper demolition of the former Weirton Steel Corp. facility in Steubenville, Ohio, which resulted in asbestos contamination.
Sugar purchased the property from the former Weirton Steel, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2003 (amm.com, May 19, 2003), with the intention of demolishing the facility for scrapping purposes. Demolition began in 2004, according to court documents.
Employees complained about asbestos violations in 2005, and officials found that the carcinogenic material was being disturbed and allowed to float in the air.
The demolition work "was conducted in a cavalier disregard of the asbestos present," Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. wrote in his court order. "Workers did not have protective gear, and asbestos from pipes and other installations was scattered everywhere."
The violations were "serious departures from asbestos regulating requirements, causing great risk of harm and death to many people," the judge said.
The case was filed on behalf of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, a spokesman for the Ohio Attorney Generals Office said.
The sanctions were imposed by the Jefferson County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas against Sugar and Petersburg, Ohio-based David Sugar Excavating LLC; Honey Creek Contracting Co. Inc., New Middletown, Ohio; Excavation Technologies Inc., Petersburg; and ADS Leasing Corp., Wilmington, Del. The attorney generals spokesman said Sugar owned all of the companies.
In 2011, Sugar had been sentenced to 36 months of probation and fined $10,000 for asbestos discharges, and Honey Creek had been fined $30,000.
Sugar couldnt be reached for comment.