Philadelphia, PA -The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has announced immediate steps to reassure residents that the PHA is committed to providing safe and healthy homes. As previously reported by Cooney and Conway, leading asbestos litigation attorneys, the PHA is under criminal investigation for routinely ripping out asbestos-laden insulation and disposing of it illegally in numerous homes across Philadelphia.
The PHA announced they have enacted the following steps to ensure asbestos is handled appropriately:
- The PHA is providing supplemental training for all 600 PHA maintenance employees, supervisors, and quality-control staff on what to do if they encounter asbestos. The workers reportedly already had training from their unions, but the PHA is providing extra training to prove its commitment to this effort.
- There will be additional inspections of all homes at the Hill Creek development where the alleged illegal removal and disposal of asbestos took place.
- Pamphlets will be sent to all PHA households in older buildings describing asbestos and what they should do if they have asbestos in their home.
- The PHA has hired a former federal prosecutor to investigate whether there were any improper actions in handling asbestos.
The PHA workers allegedly ripped out pipes covered in asbestos insulation with their bare hands, tossed it onto the floor of the residents’ homes, and then bagged it with the regular trash. Under federal, state, and local laws, it is required that only licensed, trained contractors remove or handle asbestos from a public building, which then must be disposed of in sealed bags and then transported to a designated landfill. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) http://www.epa.gov/ is reportedly conducting a criminal investigation into the allegations.