After the bill was passed by Iowa’s Senate March 8, it headed Tuesday to the State House, where it passed 56-39. Now, it is headed Tuesday to Gov. Terry Branstand for his signature. The bill, Senate File 376, cleared both chambers without a single Democratic vote cast in its favor. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Iowa’
Following the lead of federal legislation making its way through Congress, Iowa’s Senate approved a bill last week 27-22 aimed at restricting “double-dipping” asbestos-related liability lawsuits, according to The Des Moines Register.
With heated opposition from Democratic Senators, the Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill, which would require plaintiffs to meet deadlines, including the disposition of each asbestos trust claim and a host of other information, within 90 days of filing an asbestos claim. Cases would be dismissed for noncompliance. The bill’s floor manager, Sen. Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale), said it is intended to address problems, such as plaintiffs suppressing evidence, to ensure trust fund money is not depleted. (more…)
Introduced by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), S. 2319, also known as the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act, claims to increase the transparency in the legal process for compensation of asbestos victims. But veterans, teachers and even first responders are speaking out against the legislation, saying that it would require asbestos victims to share too much personal information in order to receive reparations. (more…)
Investigators look into possible improper disposal of asbestos-containing debris at Des Moines renovation project28 Feb 2014 by Wendi Lewis under Legal, News
DES MOINES, Iowa – A dispute about the possible improper removal and disposal of asbestos-containing debris at a renovation project is heating up as contractors and inspectors debate the merits of an investigation. The disagreement stems from a renovation project at the former Younkers building – now known as the Flagship Building – in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. The area in question is a section of drywall that was removed from the fifth floor of the building, encompassing roughly 300 square feet. (more…)
Asbestos concerns have forced the relocation of nearly 150 elementary school-age children from North Kossuth Community School in Bancroft, Iowa. An Associated Press report released on MSNBC today says asbestos levels in one classroom were 10 times greater than what is considered safe, and 1,000 times greater in a second-floor hallway at the school. Asbestos has been linked to mesothelioma cancer and other diseases including asbestosis, a severe scarring of the lungs.
The school was closed Monday after testing revealed the high asbestos levels present in the facility. Students will be relocated to a facility in the nearby community of Swea City, with plans to complete this resume classes Thursday. Students have three weeks remaining in the school year.
According to a story on MidIowaNews.com, the district has been concerned about the school since at least May 4, 2007, when Paul Baer of The Institute for Environmental Assessment sent a memo stating that accoustical ceiling spray on the ceiling of the second floor hallway and classrooms contained asbestos. The news story goes on to say that the memo stated that due to roof leaks beginning in 2002, asbestos was beginning to separate from the plaster and would release asbestos fibers into the air if it fell.
On March 18, 2008, the Fairmont Sentinel, a daily paper that serves southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, reported that concerns were raised at the March 17 school board meeting. North Kossuth Superintendent Mike Landstrum told the Sentinel that an IEA inspector “told me there were some major concerns with health issues.”
Following the meeting, two public hearings were set to address the issue, one on April 7 at Swea City, and one April 14 in Bancroft.
The Sentinel reported that at the Swea City meeting April 7, in a letter to the district, George Rosburg of the IEA stated the water damage, visible leaks and sagging asbestos ceiling spray were “… a serious health & safety concern, and recommends North Kossuth Community Schools consider the asbestos removal and roof repair as a very high priority.”
Until this decision to relocate students, North Kossuth Elementary has been located in space rented from St. John’s Catholic School, a private school located on the same campus. North Kossuth has rented the property since 2002. Because the district leases the building, St. John’s is responsible for maintenance, which would include asbestos removal and other repairs.
North Kossuth’s lease agreement with St. John’s does not expire until 2012.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all public school districts and private schools, known as local education agencies or LEAs, to inspect all school buildings for both friable and nonfriable asbestos; to develop plans to manage asbestos in schools; and to carry out the plans in a timely fashion.