Calif. developers settle asbestos claim

November 7, 2006

Two California developers have agreed to pay $350,000 to settle alleged violations of a plan for dealing with naturally occurring asbestos.

Angelo K. Tsakopoulos and Larry Gualco, owners of West Valley LLC, and DeSilva Gates Construction, are involved in developing subdivisions in El Dorado Hills near Sacramento. The state accused them of at least 47 violations of air and water pollution regulations, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Asbestos is not dangerous as long as it is left alone. But disturbing it by blasting, drilling and excavation can release microscopic fibers into the air that can cause cancer and other diseases if inhaled.

Marcella McTaggart, head of the El Dorado County Air Quality Management District, said that blasting on some occasions at the development site created huge clouds of dust.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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