LOCAL NEWS

Hotel owner federally indicted after disregarding asbestos disposal regulations

Mar 5, 2024, 7:22 PM

Courtroom And Gavel...

(File, KSL TV)

(File, KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly four years after the July 2020 fire at the Broadway Hotel in Tooele, a Murray man has been indicted on three Clean Air Act charges related to the demolition of the charred structure, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The document states that Daniel J. Brett, 68, knew of asbestos being used in the building’s construction since September 2011, when an “Environmental Site Assessment was performed by a third party.”

In the analysis, it was recommended that Brett conduct a comprehensive asbestos survey, but “(he) never conducted a comprehensive survey despite this,” the indictment states.

By the time the hotel caught fire, it was surrounded by a residential and mixed-use neighborhood, with three primary schools located within a half of a mile.

Following the fire, that necessitated the hotel’s demolition, Brett received bids for its demolition, and “ignored the fact (that) the hotel contained asbestos in numerous locations, including in its thermal system, boiler insulation, wall plaster, rolled vinyl flooring and roofing materials,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Brett selected a bidder to perform the demolition under a “limited-scope bid … that excluded self-contained breathing apparatus and protective suits,” the indictment states. It also states that over the course of the demolition, “an employee of (the demolition business) was not aware that the Broadway Hotel contained asbestos and was not provided with (protective gear).”

Once demolition was finished, an over 3,000-ton pile of asbestos-contaminated debris was removed by the EPA in an “emergency removal action, which cost the EPA, in total, approximately $1.1 million,” according to the document.

Brett is charged with three counts of Clean Air Act violations, including failure to have an asbestos trained on-site representative, failure to wet asbestos at all times after demolition, and knowing endangerment. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, all of these charges are felonies, but maximum penalties will be stated in court at the initial appearance.

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Hotel owner federally indicted after disregarding asbestos disposal regulations