Owner of burned hotel fined for handling of asbestos

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PORTLAND — The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined Thunderbird Hotel LLC $29,028. The corporation owned the long-vacant Hayden Island hotel west of the Interstate 5 Bridge that burned in September 2012.

The company failed to hire a licensed asbestos contractor before demolishing the burned buildings, DEQ said; during and after the demolition and salvage, asbestos-containing waste openly accumulated at the property.

A 2006 survey found the buildings had asbestos in flooring, popcorn texture, insulation, fireproofing, roofing and other materials. The demolition likely released asbestos fibers, which are a known respiratory hazard, DEQ said.

The company hired a licensed abatement contractor to handle the remaining asbestos-containing materials, a fact that DEQ said it considered in determining the penalty. The company has until July 23 to pay or appeal the fine.