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Asbestos Abatement Supervisor Pleads Guilty to Violations of the Clean Air Act Arising From a U.S. Naval Air Station Cleanup

Robert Langill, an asbestos abatement supervisor, pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act in connection with asbestos abatement at the U.S. Naval Air Station.

“Robert Langill violated federal standards when he directed his employees to improperly remove materials containing asbestos causing the hazardous fibers to be dispersed into the air,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Ronald J. Tenpas.

“Asbestos exposure is hazardous and known to cause cancer. Today’s guilty plea should serve as a strong reminder that those who choose to ignore asbestos abatement regulations will be prosecuted,” said Tenpas.

According to the plea agreement, from 2001 to 2004, Langill was employed with a Maryland asbestos abatement company as an asbestos abatement project supervisor. In 2003, the company entered into an agreement with the U.S. Navy to remove asbestos-containing material from several buildings undergoing renovation or demolition at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md.

From October 2003 to January 8, 2004, Langill directed the removal of transite panels containing asbestos in a manner that violated federal asbestos abatement work practice standards. He directed workers to remove the panels by smashing them with hammers and crowbars and allowing the transite to fall to the ground and break, thereby rendering the asbestos friable and causing a release of asbestos fibers into the environment.

“Robert Langill intentionally violated federal work practice standards established to protect people and the environment from harmful exposure to asbestos,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. "We will continue to prosecute individuals who violate the very laws that they are entrusted to comply with."

Langill faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the pecuniary gain derived from the crime, or twice the pecuniary loss caused to the victim of the crime. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte scheduled sentencing for Jan. 10, 2008.

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