Anderson Man Sentenced for Asbestos Violation

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA — Brian Thomas Rogers, 53, of Anderson, owner of Rogers Environmental, LLC, was sentenced to three years of probation, to include the first six months on an overnight curfew, ordered to pay a $25,500 fine, and will perform 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty to Making a False Statement in a Clean Air Act Document.

Evidence presented to the Court showed that on May 1, 2018, Rogers Environmental was contracted to perform an asbestos building inspection at Pratt Hall on the campus of Anderson University, Anderson County, South Carolina.  Rogers’ limited survey report stated that no asbestos containing material (ACM) was found in the materials sampled.  Based on the negative ACM survey, contractors commenced with demolition and renovation.

On June 20, 2018, while removing flooring from a bathroom, the sub-contractor encountered 9×9 floor tile and black mastic under the top layer of flooring, which it suspected to contain asbestos.

On June 21, 2018, Rogers was called back to the site and collected two additional samples. Rogers later provided the contractor, by email, with a lab report that showed the two additional samples did not contain asbestos. 

On June 22, 2018, after learning of Rogers’ negative asbestos report and doubting the result, the sub-contractor collected its own samples from the same room inspected by Rogers and sent the samples to the same lab for analysis. The lab report indicated that asbestos was present in the two samples.

Due to the discrepancies between Rogers Environmental and the subcontractor’s sampling reports, the sub-contractor notified the general contractor, who in turn brought in a new building inspection company to resample the entire building.

On June 25, 2018, the new company surveyed and collected samples from the entire site, which documented approximately 29 samples had positive asbestos results. The total amount of asbestos found was approximately 3,620 square feet. 

Investigators for DHEC later interviewed Rogers, who admitted changing the original lab results on one sample from 20% chrysotile (asbestos) to none detected.  Rogers also admitted that he emailed the manipulated false documents to the general contractor. 

United States District Judge Donald C. Coggins, Jr., ordered the sentence, recommending that Rogers perform his community service at Anderson University. Rogers will satisfy the fine in payments of $750 per month for roughly three years.

This case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigative Division, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Assistant U.S. Attorney Winston D. Holliday, Jr., is prosecuting the case.

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