This week an Emmaus, Pennsylvania woman joined many others in pushing for East Pennsylvania officials to start a criminal investigation into whoever dumped asbestos close to Allentown’s Wescosville Elementary School, in 2013.
According to reports, Nancy Hill file a report with the East Pennsylvania officials this Monday, adding herself to a long line of residents who have already complained after someone anonymously dumped asbestos and construction trash onto the property of Wescosville Elementary School. Although the debris was found out about in 2013, plans for clean-up began this year. The district employees who found the debris last year simply covered it up with mud instead of reporting it immediately.
School Board Focuses on Clean-Up, Not Arrests
Currently, however, the school board is focusing more on getting the asbestos cleaned up, rather than who is responsible. Yet, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dumping asbestos at anyplace other than a designated landfill is illegal.
It’s still unknown how long the asbestos has been at the school, nor who could have dumped it. Since the school board has no plans to start an investigation into the matter, it remains closed.
The EPA, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection were reportedly satisfied with the school board’s superintendent’s decision on how to handle the problem. On Sept. 8, A.L.M. Abatement Services LLC was hired for $17,835 to clean up the property, and TCI Environmental Services Inc. was hired at $600 to inspect the job during the removal process.
Taxpayers Demand a Criminal Investigation
However, Hill, along with many others, are outraged that nothing is being done about the illegal dumping.
“What kind of message are we sending our children?” Hill told local reporters. ” Illegal is illegal.”
Hill went on to say that the taxpayers are paying for the illegal activities of others. The majority of the people who’ve been urging officials to investigate feel that the responsible party should be paying for the cleanup expenses instead of putting the burden on the city’s taxpayers. Hill also believes that the East Penn employees who failed to handle the situation correctly last year should be also be held responsible.
Another concerned resident, Giovanni Landi, said that doing nothing about the illegal activity is sending the wrong message to the kids that attend the school.
“The board’s decision not to involve authorities sends the message that “if you dump hazardous materials at our schools and endanger our children, we will cover up your crime,” said Landi
Even though a certified asbestos abatement professional stated that the students were safe and that there isn’t anything to worry about, parents are still concerned, as any type of asbestos exposure, no matter how small, can result in the development of life-threatening diseases, such as malignant mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer. In fact, children are more susceptible to an asbestos disease as they have more time for the illness to develop. In addition, research suggests that since children breathe differently than adults, they have a heightened risk of breathing in more asbestos fibers when compared to adults.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been injured due to asbestos exposure, you may qualify for substantial compensation. Right now, there is more than $30 billion available in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Get in touch with our experienced mesothelioma lawyers today for a free case consultation.