$5,000 asbestos fine

WHITESBORO — An Oriskany man has been ordered in Federal Court to pay a $5,000 fine after he allowed his business on Mohawk Street to be demolished even though it contained asbestos.

Leon Pugh, 74, was ordered Wednesday by U.S. District Court Norman A. Mordue to pay the $5,000 fine for a violation of the federal Clean Air Act, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Pugh was also sentenced to one year on probation.

Authorities said Pugh owned a limited liability corporation known as the 44 Mohawk St. LLC at 44 Old Mohawk St., Whitesboro, and he had the building demolished by an unlicensed individual even though it contained approximately 6000 square feet of asbestos.

Authorities said Pugh did not notify the Environmental Protection Agency, he did not keep the asbestos in a wet condition during removal and he disposed of it in a landfill that was not authorized by law to accept asbestos contaminated materials.

Asbestos is known to cause various forms of cancer and a nearly always fatal lung disease. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.