My husband, on lung transplant list & immunocompromised.We planned for furnace upgrade & remove asbestos ducts & to install an air filter that kills bacteria/virus prior to cold/flu season.Hired Alliance Environmental Group, Inc. (Lic #XXXXXX) in ***** ***** to remove our heating ducts on Nov. 24, 2013(Thanksgiving week).Spoke to sales rep, prior to work starting to verify asbestos removal is done properly to prevent asbestos from entering our home. She assured me that the workers will be using plastic containment around registers, will use water on asbestos, and foreman, will be present to verify work. On Nov. 24, 3 workers arrived to do the work, foreman not present. Informed workers about husband's condition and worker #1, English speaking, assured me that work will be done properly and carefully. His father, worker #2, pulled ducts from the attic. The third worker didn't speak English.He loosened asbestos covered boots without hazmat gear or any plastic containment or water; he also went in/out of plastic containment in garage which had Danger signs to keep out & went in/out of our house.I kept complaining & worker #2, came down to ask what was the hold up.Called sales rep about these issues and she said that she is trying to find foreman. Later she said that foreman in class and can't come to site. My husband & I extremely upset and worried that we, including our 17 yr old daughter may be exposed to asbestos cause proper procedure not followed by Alliance workers. Debris left inside house & garage; samples collected. Stayed in hotel 11/24 - 11/28 thru Thanksgiving until asbestos TEM testing was resulted. Alliance VP called us and approved Alliance payment for TEM testing, $695, which Titan, Cert Asbestos Consultant insisted should be done. Titan recommended by Alliance; test negative. Shaun then refused to pay. Workers also damaged ceiling. We had to throw our entrance & hallway carpet. After back home, no heater for one week. Furnace installers rescheduled at later date d/t issues above.Product_Or_Service: Removal of Asbestos ductsAccount_Number: ********************
We are asking Alliance to refund $695 for TEM testing that they promised to pay for and hotel costs for 2 days ($188).
The purpose of this correspondence is to respond to the complaint lodged by **** *** against Alliance Environmental for work performed at her home. The following provides an explanation for the actions taken by Alliance and we believe that we handled the situation appropriately and professionally. It is our assessment that Mrs. *** was unreasonable and hyper critical of the work that was actually properly performed by our company representatives.
To that end, on the day the project began, Alliance had three crew members arrive and they politely answered her questions while setting up negative air containment. The Alliance crew began the abatement of potentially contaminated materials and Mrs. *** became extremely upset and believed that Alliance was not following the proper protocols and standards for such an abatement. Mrs. *** contacted the Alliance salesperson and complained that the work was not being performed properly. Alliance's sales representative contacted the superintendent on the project and confirmed that the work was in fact proceeding as per California Regulations.
The following day Mrs. *** called the salesperson again after the project was complete and complained that there was asbestos debris all over her home, on her drive way. The superintendent and salesperson immediately went to the home and Mrs. *** would not let us in to view her areas of concern. The material on the driveway was yard debris and pebbles, not Asbestos containing materials. Mrs. *** complained that the workers were exiting the containment without proper respiration or suits. This is accurate as they were exiting the "shower room" of the containment which is where any potentially contaminated clothing is discarded.
After numerous threatening emails from Mrs. ***, Alliance management offered to pay for 3rd party testing to determine if there was any asbestos remaining in the home. Mrs. *** demanded more aggressive testing than what was being offered; Alliance refused such testing as costly and unnecessary but informed her that she could do so at her own expense. Mrs. *** then contracted and paid for the testing with the Consultant (Titan) directly. As anticipated, the test results came back negative and there was no contamination issue at her home.
Mrs. *** also filed a formal complaint with OSHA. After interviewing Alliance representatives and the industrial hygienist who took samples on the job, OSHA determined that no violations had occurred.
We appreciate that Mrs. *** is concerned with her husbands' safety and health. However, based on the **** performed, the results of testing, and the facts surrounding this project, it is our position that Alliance did everything at or above the industry standard.
We are not satisfied with Alliance's response. They refused to pay for the TEM testing ($695) that they promised to pay for. Furthermore, if they had done the abatement properly based on Bay Area Quality Management District (BAAQMD) Regulation 11 Hazardous Pollutants Rule 2 Asbestos Demolition, Renovation, and Manufacturing, we wouldn't have to stay in a hotel for almost a week during Thanksgiving and pay $469. Therefore, we are asking for the entire amount of $695 for the TEM testing and $470 for the hotel stay.
According to BAAQMD Requlation 11 Rule 2, Alliance should have complied to the following during the abatement process: 1) have a foreman at the site who is a trained person familiar with applicable asbestos regulations 2) use wet methods where all the exposed asbestos should be adequately we during cutting, stripping, renovation, removal and handling operations; 3) place physical barriers and a negative air pressure ventilation system so that when asbestos is disturbed it prevents migration of the asbestos fibers.
Alliance violated all the stipulations in Regulation 11 Rule 2 mentioned above. There was no foreman present. The workers did not use the wet method and when they did, they sprayed the water inside the boots instead of around the boots where the asbestos was located. There was no negative pressure because the workers did not apply the negative pressure correctly. All the registers where open instead of being sealed so that the negative pressure vacuum would be in effect.
We are asking Alliance to pay for the TEM test of $695 and the hotel stay of $470.
Final Business Response
Alliance maintains that it conducted its services in a manner consistent with all applicable rules and regulations, including rules promulgated by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District ("BAAQMD") cited by Mrs. ***. This includes adequately wetting materials containing asbestos during the removal process, as well as adequately containing the area using a negative air containment system and employing the necessary exhaust, ventilation, and collections systems. Alliance representatives familiar with the applicable rules and regulations were also present at Mrs. ***'s home during the **** and politely answered all of her questions and addressed her concerns. And once again, OSHA's inspection and the TEM test Mrs. *** ordered on her own accord conclusively determined that Alliance completed its **** in a fit manner.
As for Mrs. ***'s demand that Alliance pay for the TEM testing, we reiterate that Alliance did not recommend nor promise to compensate her for the aggressive testing she ordered. In furtherance of our goal of customer satisfaction and service, Alliance offered to pay for a test that we felt was adequate to determine if there was any asbestos content left from its **** at Mrs. ***'s home, but Mrs. *** ordered a more aggressive testing on her own volition. Alliance neither recommended nor agreed to pay for the unnecessary test that Mrs. *** ordered, which results were negative in any case.
Finally, as to Mrs. ***'s demand that Alliance pay for her hotel accommodations, not only has Mrs. *** not provided a consistent reimbursement value (her original complaint demanded $188, but that number increased to $470 in her response), but we reiterate that Alliance neither recommended that Mrs. *** order an aggressive TEM test, nor offered to pay for her accommodations during that test.
Once again, we appreciate Mrs. ***'s concerns for her husband's well-being, but both OSHA's investigation and the TEM test ordered by Mrs. *** conclusively determined that Alliance had committed no violations in their **** at Mrs. ***'s home. Alliance has been a trusted go-to source for asbestos abatement services for nearly a decade, and pursuant to our policies and procedures, our crew performed their duty at Mrs. ***'s home in a professional and courteous manner above and beyond the industry standard despite Mrs. ***'s hypercritical and relentless accusations.