Coralville businessman facing air quality violations

Randy P. Ward
Randy P. Ward

A Coralville businessman is facing nine aggravated misdemeanor charges for violating air quality standards which arose from an apartment complex demolition in 2008.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Iowa Assistant Attorney General Susan Krisko on Dec. 28, Randy P. Ward is being accused of knowingly disposing of demolished materials which contained asbestos.

Ward, who owns Randy’s Carpet and Interiors in Coralville, is a member of Le Chateau Apartments LLC which owned the Le Chateau Apartments in Coralville in 2008. The apartment complex consisted of four, two-story buildings. During the summer flooding of 2008, the apartments were damaged and Ward had the buildings demolished in Sept. and Oct. of 2008.

According to Marion Burnside, a former coordinator of National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for the Iowa DNR, Le Chateau hired Aspec Environmental Testing, Inc. to inspect the presence of any asbestos containing materials and also sent samples to the Iowa Hygienic Laboratory for testing. Both tests showed asbestos was present in the site.

In Oct. of 2008, Burnside said he received a complaint about the demolition and went to visit the site. He observed the office building and three of the four buildings had already been demolished and the fourth was in the process of demolished. He said the debris from the already demolished buildings was still on site.

Burnside said he did not observe any practices being used to prevent the discharge of dust emissions. After speaking with a worker on site, the worker told her he had no experience in asbestos removal.

In a document filed to Johnson County court, Burnside wrote after speaking with Ward, he told her he had “lost enough money from the flood and he was going to leave the pile of demolition debris where it was.”

But Ward later contacted three companies to dispose of the debris, but did not clarify the materials contained asbestos. None of the trucks used special signage during the loading or unloading of the contaminated materials.

After verifying disposal records from the Iowa City landfill, Burnside reported between Oct. 24 and 29, approximately 1,650 tons of debris, brought in over 330 truck loads were deposited from the Le Chateau demolition site.Ward made an initial appearance at the Johnson County Courthouse Tuesday and waived a preliminary hearing.

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