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Elmwood Park man charged in hazardous removal of asbestos

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

An Elmwood Park man is charged in a federal indictment with ignoring EPA safety standards when he removed asbestos from piping at the former Garden State Paper Mill in Garfield.

Vele Bozinoski was hired to do the work by an unnamed company without a state permit, the seven-count indictment alleges. “He, in turn, hired and supervised multiple workers” for the River Road project, it says.

All involved knew that they were violating the federal Clean Air Act, intended to make sure that asbestos is property removed and handled, the government alleges.

Bozinoski, 60, had an initial appearance Friday before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court.

The government says he ignored Clean Air Act regulations, “which required him to thoroughly inspect the facility for the presence of asbestos before removing insulation and to notify the Environmental Protection Agency of his intention to do so. He also failed to wet material containing asbestos before stripping it off pipes and other facility components, and to seal asbestos-containing debris in leak-tight containers until it was collected for disposal, as required by law.”

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman credited special agents of the FBI and special agents of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the investigation leading to the indictment. The case is being tried by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen P. O’Leary of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.

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