Oregon agency fines fire district, company for asbestos

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon has issued more than $31,000 in fines to Polk County Fire District No. 1 and a Salem-based construction company for releasing asbestos during a training exercise for firefighters.

The Statesman Journal reports the fire district burned a Monmouth home in January for a “burn-to-learn” exercise at the request of 3 G’s Construction.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality tested for asbestos at the site after receiving a complaint from a neighbor. The agency in imposing the fines described both parties’ behavior as “reckless.”

Fire Chief Ben Stange says changes have been made following a review of burn-to-learn procedures.

The newspaper could not reach company president Roger Griswold for comment Monday.

The agency fined the company $16,835 and the fire district $14,400.