Perryville demolition company faces penalties over lack of asbestos inspection

Sunday, November 1, 2009

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- A Perryville demolition company faces possible civil penalties following a Missouri Air Conservation Commission vote to seek legal action by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.

The commission sent the case to Koster during a meeting Thursday in Jefferson City, Mo. The commission found Clifton Farms & Excavating Co. failed to obtain an asbestos inspection, provide notice of a demolition job and failed to respond to several attempts to settle the case. Bernard Clifton, owner of the company, said he believed the matter was being handled by the property owner and denied violating any environmental rule deliberately.

The case involves the final demolition of two homes at 902 and 905 N. Kingshighway in Perryville. The Department of Natural Resources investigated the work June 15 and discovered the lack of an asbestos inspection and demolition notice. Under environmental rules, when a single home is demolished, no asbestos inspection or demolition notice is needed. When the demolition involves two adjacent homes, the inspection requirement that also applies to almost all other types of buildings is triggered.

The department sought to settle the case for $4,000 on July 15, sending a registered letter. Clifton said he turned the letter over to Bank of Missouri, which owns the land and hired him to demolish the houses. He said he had no trouble obtaining a city demolition permit and thought at the time he did the work that all requirements had been met.

"It looks like the bank should clear this up because we were just hired by the bank to do it," Clifton said. The homes had already been stripped of many pieces, including doors and windows, when he came in, he said.

The fine being sought by the department is more than he was paid for the work, Clifton said.

The asbestos rules are in place to protect the public, said department spokeswoman Renee Bungart. The amount of any potential fine is now up to the attorney general's office, she said.


Pertinent addresses:

902 N. Kingshighway, Perryville, MO

Jefferson City, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: