Asbestos/Criminal Enforcement: U.S. Department of Justice Announces Abatement Supervisor's Guilty Plea

March 31, 2021

By: Walter G. Wright

Category: Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law

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The United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) in a March 26th news release stated that Gunay Yakup (“Yakup”) pleaded guilty to involvement in a conspiracy to illegally remove asbestos.

The facility involved is stated to have been a former IBM site in Kingston, New York.

DOJ cites court documents indicating that during the summer of 2016 Yakup and others undertook work at the facility which is stated to have contained over 400,000 square feet of regulated asbestos-containing material (“RACM”), as well as 6,000 linear feet of RACM pipe wrap.

Yakup is described in the news release as having special asbestos abatement training and being hired as a worker and supervisor by an asbestos abatement company. It is further stated that:

. . . On the job, he was pressured by other conspirators to expedite the removal of asbestos at the site. Doing so meant that Yakup and his crew violated the Clean Air Act’s “work practice standards,” which address how asbestos can be stripped, bagged, removed, and disposed of with relative safety.

Yakup is stated to be scheduled to be sentenced on July 27th and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

A copy of the DOJ news release can be downloaded here.

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