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Iowa collects on asbestos violations in Newton

1 lawsuit still pending in demolition of Maytag boiler building

A R.I.P. sign hangs on the gate on the final day of production - Oct. 24, 2007 - at the Maytag plant in Newton. (Associa
A R.I.P. sign hangs on the gate on the final day of production — Oct. 24, 2007 — at the Maytag plant in Newton. (Associated Press) ,

DES MOINES — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said Monday a Milwaukee real-estate company has agreed to pay $75,000 to the state of Iowa and admitted it violated asbestos regulations at a former Maytag building in Newton.

Phoenix Investors agreed to a consent order approved April 17 by 5th Judicial District Court Judge Martha L. Mertz, according to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

Miller’s office, on behalf of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, sued Phoenix as well as JBS Services, a Milwaukee-based contractor hired by Phoenix to abate the asbestos in the building. The lawsuit against JBS remains active.

According to Miller’s office, Phoenix owns the former Maytag boiler building in Newton and plans to demolish the building, which was used to power the former Maytag appliance factory.

Before doing so, Phoenix was required to complete an asbestos survey and have an Iowa-licensed asbestos inspector present during demolition.

The state alleged that Phoenix and JB2 committed multiple violations of asbestos regulations, including failing to thoroughly inspect for asbestos before renovation, failing to submit the required notifications before removing asbestos and failing to use proper methods to remove, collect and dispose of asbestos-containing material.

Phoenix admitted to many of the violations for purposes of the settlement, according to Miller’s office.

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JBS, which worked on the site until November 2018, faces a civil penalty of up to $10,000 a day for each alleged violation.

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