Edmonds company fined $575,000 for improper asbestos removal

A state agency says Above Beyond Asbestos Removal continued to accept work after being de-certified.

EDMONDS — The state has fined an Edmonds asbestos removal company an additional $575,000 for allegedly violating safety protocol and operating without the proper credentials.

The Department of Labor and Industries cited Above & Beyond Asbestos Removal in September for more than a dozen asbestos safety violations related to work at homes in Bothell and Burien. According to an agency news release, the company knowingly and repeatedly exposed workers and the public to extremely hazardous conditions.

This isn’t the first time the company has been cited for improperly handling asbestos, a hazardous material.

Asbestos can potentially cause fatal diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer, the agency said.

The company, which has been inspected eight times in the past four years, has racked up safety violations and penalties with the state agency dating back to 2017, Labor and Industries spokeswoman Dina Lorraine said in an email.

With the latest fine, the company now owes the agency more than $1 million, Lorraine said.

In 2018, Labor and Industries de-certified Above & Beyond Asbestos Removal after the company received multiple citations for mishandling asbestos at a Seattle apartment complex and a house.

Only certified contractors that follow safety and health rules may remove and dispose of asbestos.

However, the agency reports that the firm continues to bid on and perform asbestos removal and abatement projects.

Above & Beyond Asbestos Removal could not be reached for comment Thursday.

In June, state inspectors observed an employee of Above & Beyond removing an asbestos-laden popcorn ceiling in a Bothell home.

When informed that its contractor’s license had been suspended, the company left the home without arranging to clean up debris containing asbestos, the agency reported.

There were no vacuums with the required HEPA filters — which can trap extremely small particles — and no asbestos bags or asbestos warning signs. And the home’s HVAC system was on and running. These were “all violations of basic safety measures,” the agency said.

At a Burien home, investigators found the owner’s son removing flooring that contained asbestos. Neither he nor his father, the owner of Above & Beyond, are certified for asbestos abatement.

The owner’s son told inspectors he was unaware the company was de-certified and was unfamiliar with air monitoring and containment requirements.

For its latest safety violations, Above & Beyond was fined $575,000 and cited for 13 willful serious violations for intentional disregard of asbestos regulations and continuing to pursue and complete abatement work without certification or a contractor’s license, the agency said.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: @JanicePods.

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