Utility district was fined earlier
this year in Berkeley and Oakland
The East Bay Municipal Utility District is facing $5,700 in fines from the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which has cited the utility for allegedly overlooking asbestos-related regulations.
The allegations concern the roofs of two water storage facilities, the Sobrante Clearwell in El Sobrante and a facility on Highland Drive in Danville.
The roofs are made of corrugated transite, a material that may contain asbestos particles. The allegations were made on behalf of gardeners who expressed concerns about having to sweep the roofs and possibly dislodging particles.
The general citations say that the utility district did not evaluate the roof at the Danville location or inspect it for unsafe conditions, and that there were not adequate warning labels at the site to inform workers that the roofs could hold possible asbestos-containing materials. The utility also failed to provide up-to-date training, OSHA said.
Earlier this year, EBMUD was fined $3,350 in similar citations relating to reservoirs in Oakland and Berkeley. EBMUD has filed appeals of the earlier citations and spokesman Charles Hardy said the district will appeal the recent citations.
Hardy said that the only fines that the district will not appeal are those that charge the district with not putting up appropriate signs at the reservoirs informing employees of the particles. Signs, Hardy said, have already been set up.
Hardy said that EBMUD is confident that it never exposed its gardeners to asbestos, and he added that the district has test results that support its position.
"We intend to present our side,'' Hardy said. "We don't think we deserve those citations.''