Oregon Man Sentenced for Exposing Others to Asbestos
A Cottage Grove (OR) man has admitted that he misrepresented an asbestos survey report for finishing the demolition of a mobile home and consequently exposed an innocent debris hauler to the cancer-causing mineral.
Gordon G Goodell said he felt an obligation to the house owner. During the sentencing hearing, Goodell also apologized before Lane County Circuit Judge Hon. Debra Vogt for his illegal actions. He is 68 years old.
Goodell has to serve probation for 18 months. The order came after he admitted guilty a misdemeanor count of recklessly endangering a person and a felony count of providing false info to an agency.
The felony count of 1st degree unlawful air pollution was dismissed by prosecutors in a plea agreement. It was in 2016 April that Goodell was hired for demolishing and disposing of a mobile home located on 8500 block, Edenvale Rd after it was damaged severely in a fire.
Authorities raised red flag after the person Goodell had hired for the demolition project carried debris to the Short Mountain Landfill which contained ‘suspicious materials,’ said Patrick Flanagan, the state asst. attorney general prosecuted the case. Then it was revealed that testing conducted on the mobile home in question had found the presence of hazardous asbestos.
Instead of taking steps for safely removing the asbestos, Gordon Goodell found a former survey that indicated there wasn’t any asbestos and gave that to the hauler at the landfill, according to officials. But, when authorities confronted, Goodell agreed that the asbestos survey had been altered by him as he could not afford hiring a licensed contractor to clean up and dispose of the asbestos-containing materials properly, officials said.
The cleanup efforts were ultimately handled by a response team of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The hauler who took debris to the Short Mountain Landfill wasn’t aware that it was contaminated with asbestos.
Asbestos is a fibrous silicate mineral found in soil and rocks. It was used extensively in manufacturing until the 1980s due to its useful physical properties and low cost. Now asbestos is a highly regulated material due to its potential to cause fatal diseases including mesothelioma cancer and lung cancer.
Goodell’s attorney said in court that his client doesn’t have any prior history of criminal activities. As a condition of Goodell’s probation, he can’t work on any asbestos-related projects in the future.
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