COUNTY OPENED, CLOSED ASBESTOS-LADEN DEMO SITE DAYS BEFORE ASBESTOS EXPOSURE

Conroe, January 17 – Montgomery County officials admitted that they opened and closed the asbestos-laden demolition site inside the Montgomery County Courthouse only days before another Building Maintenance Department crew opened the same wall, demolished it, and suffered exposure to asbestos. Building Maintenance Assistant Director Rob Wright confirmed to The Golden Hammer this morning that the incident occurred.

Demolition site inside County Courthouse where asbestos exposure occurred on December 30, 2016.

Three County officials explained that employees opened the wall inside the old jury room of the 221st District Court, being remodeled to become Judge Jennifer Robins’ 410th District Court, on December 20 in order to inspect the inside of the wall. The initial demolition remained open for three days before the Building Maintenance employees closed it. On December 30, Building Maintenance supervisors instructed three employees to demolish the wall, which created a large, thick cloud of asbestos dust. Building Maintenance supervisors failed to warn the three employees of the potential asbestos hazard. All three employees have filed Texas Workmens’ Compensation claims and are undergoing medical testing.

Although the County secretly conducted a partial environmental remediation of the demolition site on January 6, the County and its Building Maintenance Department have never completed the asbestos survey or notification of asbestos abatement, as federal, state, and City of Conroe laws require. A visual inspection of the work site this morning revealed that the demolition is still open and adjacent to an area where County employees are presently working.

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