Thursday, February 13, 2014

Poison at Lockhaven


The photo above is from the main, common entry way to a Lockhaven building where five of seven apartments are still occupied, including one by a family with a toddler.
For months tenants of the Lockhaven Apartments have expressed concerns about our possible exposure to lead and asbestos due to ongoing work on the property and in our buildings. To date, the response of Lockhaven's owners* and the on-site manager, Anissa Olberg, has been to essentially stonewall residents. Although, in a meeting with Lockhaven owners, John Goodman and George Petrie, the two men did indicate that: "The property [Lockhaven] is unsafe with asbestos and lead throughout the complex and lead inside the apartments." This is according to notes provided by Seattle City Councilman Nick Licata's office of the January 6, 2014, meeting.

Despite the acknowledgement of the prevalence of these two known toxins at Lockhaven there was no mention of this when residents were notified on January 31, 2014, that "our contractors will begin demo[lition] and framework for several vacant units." Nor was there any mention of steps residents could take to protect themselves and their children from hazardous exposure to asbestos and lead.

The photo above was taken on February 12, the day after a visit by a Washington Department of Commerce Lead-based Paint Compliance & Enforcement Specialist. Before that, there was no signage and dust was tracked through common areas of the building and made its way onto a door and windows with no clean up. After the inspection dust containment and clean-up improved but the contractor and Lockhaven's owners have still not provided tenants with a lead hazard information pamphlet.

Regarding asbestos, the law requires that an AHERA-certified inspection for asbestos be undertaken before renovation commences and according to Section 4.02 of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's Regulation III, "A summary of the results of the asbestos survey shall either be posted by the property owner or the owner's agent at the work site or communicated in writing to all persons who may come into contact with the material." As of this writing, no such summary has been provided to Lockhaven residents despite repeated requests for information about the lead and asbestos at Lockhaven.

 * Lockhaven's owners are: John Goodman, George Petrie, John Harle, Matt Parent, Josh Obendorf, Tom Eyler, Kelli Jo Norris, and Donol Fosseen.

4 comments:

  1. I'd be very curious to know where exactly the asbestos is at Lockhaven. When I worked there many years ago we systemically had all the known asbestos removed from all the basements, laundry rooms, and storefronts that had it exposed and in many other cases dug up the tunnels in the ground where it was at in order to be free of it. The only place it could possibly be at is in the boiler rooms underneath the boilers which GRE Lockhaven has recently started working on removing. As for lead from what I understand it may not be in the paint but rather in how some of the buildings were built back in the 1940s.

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  2. If Goodman, Petrie, and friends would make the results of the asbestos survey available to tenants, as required by law, then we'd be able to find out the location of the asbestos. A Puget Sound Clean Air Agency employee has said that there is asbestos in the tile mastic in the stairways and that it was present in the roofing mastic but that was "abated" last fall. He has not seen the survey report and cannot say where else there is asbestos but was told by a Lockhaven rep about the roofing and tile mastic. I watched workers remove large boiler system parts recently and there was no containment (plastic bags, etc.) on them and the workers weren't wearing any protective gear either--they were just loaded in the bed of a pickup truck. If lead and asbestos aren't an issue then why did GRE Lockhaven owners say, on the record: "The property [Lockhaven] is unsafe with asbestos and lead throughout the complex and lead inside the apartments" and why don't they disclose the results of the lead and asbestos surveys?

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  3. If you have concerns that Lockhaven contractors are not following safe lead and asbestos containment, clean-up, or educational practices or are failing to disclose asbestos survey information, as required by law, then you may want to contact one or more of these agencies:

    Lead
    Washington State Department of Commerce
    Tel.: (360) 586-5323
    Email: lbpinfo@commerce.wa.gov
    See: http://www.commerce.wa.gov/Programs/services/Paint/Pages/default.aspx

    Asbestos
    Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
    Tel.: (206) 689-4058
    Email: asbestos@pscleanair.org
    You can also make a complaint online.
    See also: http://www.pscleanair.org/regulated/asbestos/default.aspx

    The King County Dept. of Public Health also handles lead and asbestos issues
    Tel.: 206-263-8899
    Email: Compliance.Hotline@kingcounty.gov
    See also: http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/ehs/toxic/asbestos.aspx and
    http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/ehs/toxic/LeadGeneral.aspx

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  4. What I cannot understand is the amount of illegal activity the owners continue to get away with. From the illegal 20- and 30- day notices to not disclosing the results of the survey (and so much more in between), the owners have consistently shown themselves to be untrustworthy and uncaring of the tenants of Lockhaven, not to mention their lack of respect for the law. How is this still going on with no consequences?

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