Builder fined for dumping asbestos

AN Ipswich building contractor who admitted dumping 60 to 70 tonnes of asbestos in the ground has today been fined a total of �4,000 and ordered to pay �1,500 towards court costs.

AN Ipswich building contractor who admitted dumping 60 to 70 tonnes of asbestos in the ground has today been fined a total of �4,000 and ordered to pay �1,500 towards court costs.

Simon Edward Kavanagh, 39, of Tudor Place, Woodbridge Road, was employed to demolish six pig pens at the former Shepherd and Dog piggery in Nacton.

The roofs were corrugated bonded asbestos, which is classed as hazardous waste and should be buried in a special sealed cell, but on August 22, 2007 Kavanagh was seen burying most of it on site in three trenches.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court was told he and his workers were witnessed smashing the roofs and creating dust which covered caravans and cars on nearby land. None of the workers was wearing protective equipment.


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District Judge David Cooper heard how the area near some Bronze Age burial mounds, which is now a car park for new office buildings, will need to be monitored to make sure it is not disturbed and does not pose a risk for the future development of the site.

Miriam Tordoff, prosecuting on behalf of the Environment Agency, said that although asbestos particles are a serious risk to humans if inhaled, it was not expected that fibres would be mobile enough in the soil to migrate to the water table.

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She said that Kavanagh had claimed he was told by the site manager of East of England Development ltd to bury the asbestos on site - a claim the site manager denied.

Judge Cooper said that Kavanagh had been honest and the financial advantage from his actions was nil, but his actions had 'showed a total lack of regard for the environment and safety of others.'

After the hearing, Environment Agency officer Darren Smith said: “Once asbestos has been smashed and is in the ground it is very difficult to remove it safely. This is an example of really bad practice on Mr Kavanagh's part and we hope that others will learn from his lesson.”

The council and the Health and Safety Executive have decided that the removal of the buried asbestos would cause a far greater risk to human health than leaving it where it is.

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