PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality fined Multnomah County and a contractor for allegedly failing to adhere to asbestos safety protocols when working on a North Portland home.

The fines were issued on April 25 after the state agency said the county let an unlicensed contractor, Aladdin Heating & Air Conditioning, work on asbestos removal at 6847 N Maryland Avenue.

The county also didn’t have an accredited inspector check for the cancer-causing material prior to beginning the work, according to DEQ.

In its letter to Multnomah County, DEQ officials said the state sent down the civil penalty because the violations “could have released asbestos fibers into the air and exposed workers or the homeowner to asbestos.”

Asbestos is a known carcinogen; it has been proven to cause mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. There is no known “safe level” of exposure.

DEQ requires anyone working with asbestos to go through specific training and licensing. Aladdin Heating & Air Conditioning did not have that license, officials said.

Multnomah County was fined $3,211 and the contractor was fined $2,200.

This was just one of several alleged environmental violations the agency announced on Thursday:

  • Banyan Tree Investments, LLC, was fined $7,200 for allegedly allowing an unlicensed person to work on asbestos abatement at C-Bar in SE Portland. The contractor, Zien Phan, was fined $19,200.
  • The state accused the City of Vernonia of dumping untreated sewage and stormwater into Rock Creek and the Nehalem River. The city was fined $7,800.
  • A Tualatin company, Thomas & Son Distributors, was fined $36,000 after DEQ said it spilled more than two dozen gallons of diesel fuel into Hedges Creek and nearby wetlands.
  • In Tillamook, state officials said Farm Power Tillamook violated its air quality permit by failing to properly burn biogas vented into the atmosphere. The fine totaled $20,369.