Bethlehem Press

Sunday, June 25, 2017
PRESS PHOTO BY TRACY RICEMembers of the Martin Tower project from the Division of Health and Safety meet with reps from Vertex for the abatement of the asbestos, and the engineer of the demolition of the annex buildings. PRESS PHOTO BY TRACY RICEMembers of the Martin Tower project from the Division of Health and Safety meet with reps from Vertex for the abatement of the asbestos, and the engineer of the demolition of the annex buildings.

Martin Tower Residents hear about asbestos removal at site

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 by Michelle Meeh Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Concerned residents had an opportunity to have questions answered about the process of asbestos removal from Martin Tower at a public meeting at Nitschmann MS March 27.

Representatives from RCD Group (Renovation, Construction, Demolition) of Center Valley gave a brief history of the use of asbestos from 1900-1980, when its use was discontinued due to health concerns. The naturally occurring mineral was used in fireproofing, insulation and in acoustic tiles.

Currently asbestos removal is being conducted in the outbuildings on the Martin Tower property and will begin in about a month in the 21-story tower itself. No formal plans have been presented for the tower, but the asbestos removal must happen whether the tower is demolished or renovated.

Contractors assured residents the asbestos removal must be done within guidelines from the EPA, OSHA and the PA DEP. The removal process includes using a negative pressure enclosure and encasing the asbestos in two layers of six mil thick plastic. The area will be sprayed with water to suppress dust, and this water also must be collected and disposed with the asbestos in an EPA-approved landfill.

Even the trucks and Dumpsters used to transport the material must be lined with plastic. Finally, a third party will inspect the site to assure no asbestos remains.

Work will be done between the hours of 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. to limit the noise level, RCD Group President Jason Goldberg said.

The contractor plans to post monthly updates on the asbestos removal process on the group’s website, www.rcdgroupinc.com.