WILTON — Wilton Recycling LLC has agreed to pay $7,500 in an agreement reached with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection over failure to comply with inspections and asbestos abatement at the Forster building.
Abestos-containing materials were removed during demolition work on the former Forster Manufacturing Co.'s Depot Street mill now owned by Wilton Recycling.
Adam Mack of Wilton Recycling agreed to make monthly payments of $750 for the civil penalty starting in February of 2013.
DEP will pursue action to hold Ryan Byther owner of Downeast Construction accountable for his role in the asbestos removal, said Samantha DePoy-Warren, spokesman for Maine DEP.
Byther's incarceration on unrelated embezzlement charges has hindered that action, she said.
Downeast Construction and Urban Timber LLC, contracted in the spring of 2011 with Wilton Recycling to demolish the building, salvage materials and pay Wilton Recycling a portion of proceeds from the sales.
In July of 2011, DEP inspected the site in response to a "referral that asbestos containing materials had been impacted during demolition," according to the consent agreement.
DEP determined Downeast Construction employees had removed approximately 500 linear feet of thermal system insulation piping containing asbestos.
The owner neglected to have an inspection done to determine asbestos materials and abate any asbestos found before demolition as required by the department for renovation or demolition projects.
"Neither Wilton Recycling nor Ryan Byther conducted an inspection," according to the agreement.
The agreement states it is not an admission by Wilton Recycling that any action by it or its employees was a violation of any law. It is a notice of violation for assessing repeat violations in any future enforcement actions against the company.
Over the past year, DEP has "applied steady pressure on the involved parties," DePoy-Warren said.
Demolition work was stopped in July of 2011. Abatement Professionals started work at the site in the fall but then stopped while the owner tried to secure funding to finish the work.
DEP continued working with them. They gave the owner one last chance to start remediation work in July before the federal Environmental Protection Agency cleaned it up and billed the owner.
Mack stepped up this summer to make the site right, a positive action that's reflected in the reduced monetary penalty, she said.
"The conclusion of this case is a win-win that shows the effectiveness of DEP's enforcement process. The responsible party was held accountable in a firm but fair way and more importantly, the eventual removal of asbestos from this site now allows for the redevelopment of this community cornerstone," she said.
Attempts to reach Mack were unsuccessful.
According to the Bangor Daily News, Mack, a former state legislator, waived indictment and pleaded guilty in October to a charge of equity-skimming in an unrelated incident. He is expected to be sentenced in January and could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Attempts to reach Peter Jensen who works for Mack were also unsuccessful.
Jensen indicated in November that demolition of the portion of building partially standing would restart this winter, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said.