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During a contentious emergency meeting this week, Monticello officials decided to hire Hudson Valley Environmental to submit information to the Department of Labor that would allow them to begin the process of moving the debris currently sitting in on Pleasant Street. Our Eva McKend spoke with the asbestos consultant and has the latest.
MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- Seth Piker is an asbestos consultant. He owns Hudson Valley Environmental and was hired more than a year ago by the Village of Monticello to test the materials inside the now demolished courthouse on Pleasant Street.
"Because of the regulations being so strict and everything being so regulated, the village needs certified people to do the work and at every step there is a different license," said Piker.
When Piker was initially consulted, he determined the asbestos in the building was not hazardous but it was above the legal limit, more than one percent. So if the village wanted to demolish the building, they would have to hire a certified abatement contractor.
As Piker explained, every contractor and worker involved would have to be certified as an asbestos handler by the state Department of Labor. So now Piker has returned again, this time to a write variance which he submitted to the state Thursday.
You can think of a variance almost as a permission slip, one that would allow the village to hire a contractor.
All of this has become necessary since six of the contractors originally working on the project were charged by the DEC for illegal dumping last week, halting the project.
"I sent it to the state as an emergency. I’m waiting for the state to send it back to me approved or get back to me with comments or questions so they can approve it," said Piker.
Obtaining the variance will cost the village more than $2,000.
Piker says any contractor entering into a deal with the village should know about the level of asbestos in the building because if the state agencies get involved, ignorance is no excuse.