Medford, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued a $74,469 penalty Friday to BACH Development for asbestos violations at the cleanup of a Southern Oregon mobile home park hit by wildfire in 2020.
BACH Development improperly cleared, removed, loaded and packaged asbestos-containing wildfire debris from Medford Estates mobile home park at 3555 S Pacific Highway in Medford without the required asbestos abatement license from the state. The Florida-based company also failed to notify the disposal site of the type and volume of asbestos-containing waste material and failed to obtain the disposal site’s approval before bringing in the waste.
The violations occurred between late November and early December 2020. The Almeda Fire in September 2020 severely damaged Medford Estates, destroying many of the homes in the mobile home park. Medford Estates has more than 200 mobile home lots. Medford Estates chose not to participate in the state-led wildfire cleanup effort, and BACH Development is not a contractor with the state.
The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission, which oversees DEQ, granted temporary rule variances
for several asbestos rules to expedite cleanup efforts in communities damaged by the historic 2020 wildfires, which included the Almeda Fire. However, many asbestos rules still apply to cleanup in the wildfire zone. These rules provide important health protection for workers and the public. Exposure to asbestos may cause cancer and other illnesses. There’s no known safe level of exposure.
BACH Development may appeal the civil penalty and request a hearing within 20 calendar days from receiving notice from DEQ.
View the full enforcement documents here: https://www.oregon.gov/deq/nr/031221bach.pdf
For more information about asbestos in ash and debris from wildfire see this factsheet: https://www.oregon.gov/deq/wildfires/Documents/wfA…
For general information about wildfire cleanup in Oregon go to: https://wildfire.oregon.gov/
Media contact: Dylan Darling, DEQ Western Region public affairs specialist