Demo Firms Fined for Asbestos Incident

Judge fines companies $850,000 for improper demolition of former steel mill in Ohio.

April 9, 2013

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced that a Jefferson County, Ohio, judge has ordered Arthur David Sugar and several of his affiliated companies to pay an $850,000 civil penalty resulting from the improper demolition of the former Weirton Steel facility in Steubenville, Ohio, and the subsequent asbestos contamination.

The judge also imposed the sanctions against Arthur David Sugar, Sr.; David Sugar Excavating LLC; Honey Creek Contracting Inc.; Excavation Technologies Inc.; and ADS Leasing. In its findings, the court found that in 2004 the defendants began the demolition of the former Weirton Steel facility and committed “massive violations,” including violating regulations regarding asbestos removal procedures and failure to notify Ohio EPA of asbestos removal.

According to a press release from the Ohio Attorney’s General office, in 2010, Sugar and Ohio EPA reached an agreement for preliminary injunction regarding clean-up of the site. In 2011, Sugar and Honey Creek pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy and four counts of violating the Clean Air Act rules related to the proper removal and handling of asbestos. A trial was held in 2012 in the Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas regarding liability for these and other violations, including causing a public nuisance, which resulted in the $850,000 civil penalty.

A hearing was scheduled for April 12 on costs, attorney fees, and to determine further injunctive relief.