The B.C. Ministry of Environment is investigating a local business for improper disposal of hazardous material, after bags of asbestos were found scattered across the company’s property last month.
Suntanu Dalal, spokesman for the Ministry of Environment, confirmed conservation officers received a complaint March 28 regarding the storage of hazardous waste on property used by Red Demo Ltd.’s Langley branch.
“As there is an investigation underway, we cannot comment any further,” Dalal said via email.
Red Demo operations manager Bob Caya said he’s likely facing a fine from the government once the investigation is complete.
“I’m not really supposed to have it (asbestos) on the property,” he said. “I got my wrist slapped, basically, from the ministry.”
Caya said Red Demo’s offices have been operating from a residence located at 20106 27 Ave. for two and one-half years, but the asbestos only began piling up in the yard a few months ago.
He said he’s already hired someone to remove it from the property, but in the meantime the hazardous material does not pose a health risk since it’s been properly wrapped in two disposal bags.
“(The Ministry of Environment is) very confusing about the rules and regulations,” Caya said, adding the government originally told him he could transport 1,000 kilograms of asbestos for any given job.
He said the ministry later informed him only homeowners — not contractors like himself — are permitted to transport that much asbestos to a dump for disposal.
Dalal confirmed homeowners are permitted to transport hazardous waste from their own property to authorized waste management facilities, but contractors must obtain a hazardous waste transport licence.
Caya said he’ll likely revise the contracts with his clients in order to comply with government regulations.
“The homeowner may have to deal with the bags themselves because they’re allowed to take certain amounts,” he said, adding Red Demo will continue to put the asbestos in disposal bags before leaving it to clients to transport the hazardous material to a dump.
According to its website, Red Demo is committed to the “most stringent safety regulations including those of the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia (Work Safe), the Government of Canada, and the B.C. Ministry of Lands, Parks and Environment.”