Baby food company refusing to comply with EPA asbestos abatement order

25 May 2017 by under News
Beech Nut Jarred Baby Food 100x100 Baby food company refusing to comply with EPA asbestos abatement order

Credit: ParentingPatch/ Wikipedia

A former facility for baby food manufacturer Beech-Nut has fallen into disrepair over the seven years it has sat vacant. Now, the company is refusing to comply with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order requiring it to clean up the 26-acre area in Canajoharie, New York.

According to The Daily Gazette, the EPA has declared the area a Superfund site due to contamination, and its order required the company to remove asbestos-containing materials from the area. From 1891 to 2010, the company operated a canning facility at the site until flooding caused it to move its operation to . The EPA believes the company knew of the asbestos prior to 2012, when it sold the property.

Beech-Nut is refusing to comply with the EPA order because it claims the improper asbestos handling occurred after the property was sold to Todd Clifford, who owns a company called TD Development LLC. Clifford reportedly stripped the site of scrap metal, left behind hazardous piles of asbestos-containing debris and then sold it to Jeffrey Wendell in 2014. The EPA has sprayed those piles with a sealant to help reduce the likelihood of the known human carcinogen becoming airborne. The news source could not confirm if the EPA is seeking action against the other two owners, which owe the city approximately $2 million in taxes.

Beech-Nut spokesperson Kirsten Whipple told the news source, “At the time Beech-Nut sold the property, we had complied with the environmental standards regarding asbestos-containing materials without creating health risks for employees or the community. We agree the asbestos issue in Canajoharie should be resolved, however Beech-Nut shouldn’t be ordered by the EPA to clean up an issue we didn’t create.”

An EPA spokesperson said the agency is in the process of deciding how to respond to the company’s refusal and is evaluating its options.


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