PJC Group LLC (PJC) bought the former Gilbert Paper Company facility in Menasha in 2004. PJC planned to renovate part of the facility and demolish the rest. The company hired others to remove metal from the facility for its scrap value, but the workers allegedly failed to follow appropriate asbestos safety precautions when cutting and removing large pipe insulation that contained asbestos.
The workers also allegedly left piles of discarded asbestos-containing insulation in the mill. The removal of three large boilers from the facility’s boiler house also allegedly disturbed asbestos-containing material without the area being inspected for asbestos.
PJC and the workers allegedly failed to notify the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) about the activity in the boiler house building, failed to inspect the area for asbestos and failed to take proper asbestos safeguards before and after disturbing the materials.
On December 4, PJC pleaded no contest to violating Wisconsin’s asbestos laws by failing to perform proper inspections, failing to notify the DNR of intentions to renovate and demolish parts of the facility and failing to follow asbestos safeguards.
On July 30, Van Hollen’s office obtained a $47,272 penalty against PJC, including forfeitures, costs and surcharges.