Apr 21, 2016 1:21 PM

NH health official: Inspector never saw asbestos sandblast grit at Manchester complex


MANCHESTER - A N.H. health official said Wednesday that her inspector never saw piles of sandblast grit at the Mill West complex last spring. The complex is suspected to be the source of asbestos illegally dumped last year in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

The complex was found to have high levels of lead in apartments and stairways, which drew the attention of the Division of Public Health last May.

State health workers and the EPA oversaw the process of cleaning up the lead.

“We were brought on-site for the lead. Our focus in May was lead dust,” said Beverly Baer Drouin to the Union Leader. Baer Drouin oversees the Healthy Homes program for the state. She said any piles of dust her inspector saw would be roughly the size of a teaspoon.

Massachusetts officials contacted her office to ask about a reported 10 truckloads of asbestos-tainted sandblast grit dumped at a mill in Lawrence in September. Certain emails said an informant claimed the grit came from Mill West.

Brady Sullivan Properties, which redeveloped the Mill West into loft apartments and offices, has said it feels certain that it engaged in no foul play in Lawrence.

“Nobody ever brought up asbestos to us at the time,” said Evan Mulholland, who oversees compliance in the DES Air Resources Bureau. “It was portrayed to us as lead abatement issues.”

However, a contractor known as Environmental Compliance Specialists Inc. that is licensed to remove asbestos had been working with Mill West, but had filed no notification of asbestos removal.

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