WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A big and potentially dangerous mistake. Homeowners get soil with asbestos in it delivered to their property.
The state shipped off 2000 cubic yards of soil that contained asbestos. Some of that contaminated soil ended up in yards in Hampden County. On April 20th, MassDEP discovered this soil was excavated from the Western Massachusetts Hospital property in Westfield. The state's Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup told the I-Team the soil went to two businesses. One in Springfield, another in Agawam. Contractors then sold it to homeowners in Southwick and Granville.
Asbestos is dangerous to breath once it gets air borne and is known to cause cancer.
The homeowners we spoke to said their contractors told them within 24 hours of delivery that the soil may be contaminated...
Over the next two weeks, state workers then covered the piles to reduce asbestos exposure. It then took about two weeks to cleanup the sites. They're expected to clear out the soil from the businesses by the end of the week.
The Bureau of Waste Cleanup says the asbestos was not "friable", meaning that the asbestos does not easily crumble and enter into the air. None of the homeowners had started working with the soil prior to being warned.
The I-Team went to several of those homes on Thursday. The homeowners we spoke with said they are now waiting on the state to replace the top soil as promised. One business owner who received the soil shipment told the I-Team, he doesn't even want to be associated with this story, since he did nothing wrong, we won't reveal the name of the business.
The state has to complete an incident report by the end of the month. We'll let you know what they say.