Tenants of one of Alexandria’s largest affordable housing complexes were horrified at the discovery of asbestos during renovations, and even more horrified at the fact that it took three months for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop the work.
Over a hundred angry residents faced federal regulators, local authorities and their own landlord to discuss the EPA’s stop-work order, issued after inspectors discovered asbestos in the windows, doors and floors of the buildings. The responses of the buildings’ owners were greeted with skepticism by some and outright derision by others.
“This isn’t even negligence — this is recklessness,” said one tenant. Many parents stated obvious concerns about children crawling on or even touching contaminated surfaces.
Steve Boyack, senior vice president of the Laramar Group, the corporation which also manages the complex, claims the firm had been ignorant of the asbestos until the notice arrived. Laramar immediately halted all construction, he said, and will follow EPA guidelines moving forward.
Residents, however, have been complaining for the past year about the renovations, particularly their concerns over asbestos and lead-paint contamination. After the Virginia Department of Transportation sold the complex for $81 million, leaseholders insist the city failed to take their grievances seriously.
“The thing I find most disconcerting is it was necessary for a resident to bring this to your attention,” one tenant said. “I’d like to know where the town of Alexandria was.”
I Was Exposed to Products Containing Asbestos and I Need a Mesothelioma Attorney
It is vitally important that we hold corporate entities responsible for their blatant disregard of a community’s health and well-being, prioritizing profits over people. At Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P. we work to recover damages including medical bills, pain and suffering of the patient, and even lost wages. If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos, call us today.
Did You Know: Asbestos is the known cause of mesothelioma, but symptoms of the cancer may not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure.