City demolition firm accused of unsafe asbestos storage

June 17, 1992

A Baltimore demolition company has been accused of unsafe handling and storage of asbestos-laden debris at the former Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Cecil County.

International Crane Co., at 1300 Race St., has been sued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is asking the U.S. District Court in Baltimore for unspecified penalties and an injunction against the firm.

The EPA is accusing International Crane of storing asbestos-laden building debris on the former base in torn and open plastic bags. The complaint also charges that in the spring of 1991, workers failed to sufficiently dampen the debris to keep asbestos fibers from becoming airborne.

Asbestos, a fibrous material once widely used as insulation in buildings, can cause cancer and lung disease if inhaled.

The suit seeks an injunction barring International Crane from further violations. It also asks for up to $25,000 a day for each violation, but gives no breakdown.

An International Crane spokesman declined to comment on the suit.

The state wants to acquire the 1,260-acre former Navy training center at Port Deposit for development once the asbestos is removed.

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