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City of Eau Claire, contractor could be fined $75K for asbestos violations

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Eau Claire (WQOW) – The City of Eau Claire and its contractor could be fined up to $75,000 for violating air pollution control laws during the city hall renovation.

According to the DNR, Brack Thermal Systems Incorporated was hired in November to handle asbestos found during the renovation.

The DNR claims the company mishandled the asbestos removal and returned to work one day before the state-required waiting period was scheduled to end.

According to the City Risk Manager Colleen Schian, the city was not informed about violations until the middle of April.

She said the investigation is still in the preliminary stages and the city is working with Brack Thermal Systems to gather more information. They will discuss the violations at an enforcement conference with the DNR. That meeting was originally scheduled for May 8 but was postponed Monday.

Schian told News 18 that if the city is found to be in violation, they expect to hold the contractor responsible. Brack Thermal Systems declined comment to News 18, other than to say they are waiting more information from the DNR.

Schian said the issue is not expected to impact the city hall renovation which is scheduled to be complete by Labor Day.

The Wisconsin DNR provided News 18 the following statement:

“The department confirms that an inspection was conducted at the City of Eau Claire City Hall associated with asbestos removal operations being conducted by Brack Thermal Systems.  Results of the inspection found potential concerns.  The department is currently in discussion with the City of Eau Claire and Brack Thermal Systems to evaluate the data and determine next appropriate steps.”

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