f O
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Cleaning up and revitalizing land
Partnering with states and other stakeholders
Delayed Cleanup of Asbestos
Debris at the Old Davis Hospital
Site Necessitates Changes for
EPA Region 4 and North Carolina
September 18, 2018
Report No. 18-P-0271

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Report Contributors:
Leon Carter
Dwayne Crawford
Eric Lewis
Abbreviations
CERCLA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
CFR	Code of Federal Regulations
EPA	U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
NESHAP	National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants
OIG	Office of Inspector General
OSC	On-Scene Coordinator
Cover Photo:
Debris pile in the basement area of the Old Davis Hospital demolition site
as of June 2, 2016. (EPA photo)
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At a Glance
Why We Did This Project
Our objective was to determine
whether EPA Region 4 and the
state of North Carolina followed
appropriate procedures in
addressing claims of an improper
asbestos demolition at the
Old Davis Hospital site in
Statesville, North Carolina.
Under the National Emission
Standards for Hazardous Air
Pollutants (NESHAP), specific
work practices must be
implemented by the property
owner to control the release of
asbestos fibers into the air.
In October 2015, a caller
contacted the National Response
Center with a complaint that a
potentially improper demolition
was underway at the Old Davis
Hospital site and that an
unspecified amount of asbestos
was potentially released.
This report addresses the
following:
	Cleaning up and revitalizing
land.
	Partnering with states and
other stakeholders.
Delayed Cleanup of Asbestos Debris at the
Old Davis Hospital Site Necessitates Changes
for EPA Region 4 and North Carolina
EPA Region 4 and North Carolina
followed procedures at the Old
Davis Hospital site; however, those
procedures did not result in the
timely removal of asbestos that
posed a potential threat to human
health and the environment.
Send all inquiries to our public
affairs office at (202) 566-2391
or visit www.epa.gov/oiq.
What We Found
EPA Region 4 and the state of
North Carolina followed appropriate
procedures at the Old Davis Hospital
site. In late October 2015, personnel
from the state of North Carolina
observed piles of debris at the site
suspected of containing asbestos,
which they later verified. However, it
took over 7 months for the state to request the EPA's assistance in performing
a removal of asbestos at the site in early June 2016, during which time there
was a potential threat of asbestos exposure.
EPA Region 4 followed its established procedures when it referred the
National Response Center notification to North Carolina for review, as North
Carolina had delegated authority. However, the state did not take action to
timely remediate the site's asbestos-containing waste material and demolition
debris. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Act (CERCLA) provides federal authority for responding to releases
and potential releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public
health or the environment, but North Carolina does not have CERCLA
authority. State officials did not fully understand the extent to which the EPA
could assist in the removal.
As a result of the state's lack of action, individuals near the demolition site
were at risk of asbestos exposure. In June 2016, the EPA used its CERCLA
authority to conduct a time-critical removal at the site. In September 2016, the
EPA on-scene coordinator reported that the $1.4 million cleanup of the Old
Davis Hospital site was complete.
Recommendations and Planned Agency Corrective Actions
We recommend that EPA Region 4, in coordination with appropriate North
Carolina state officials, document clarification of the existing NESHAP
authorities. We also recommend that EPA Region 4 implement internal
controls to verify North Carolina's enforcement of work practices under the
Asbestos NESHAP at demolition and renovation sites, specifically in regard to
keeping asbestos-containing debris wet until the debris can be transported to
an approved landfill. EPA Region 4 concurred with our draft report findings,
with comment, and provided acceptable corrective actions.
Listing of OIG reports.

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UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
THE INSPECTOR GENERAL
September 18, 2018
MEMORANDUM
SUBJECT: Delayed Cleanup of Asbestos Debris at the Old Davis Hospital Site
Necessitates Changes for EPA Region 4 and North Carolina
Report No. 18-P-0271
FROM: Arthur A. Elkins Jr.
TO:
Onis "Trey" Glenn III, Regional Administrator
EPA Region 4
This is our report on the subject audit conducted by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The project number for this audit was OPE-FY17-0010.
This report contains findings that describes the problems the OIG has identified and corrective actions
the OIG recommends.
In EPA Region 4, the Air, Pesticides, and Toxics Management Division and the Superfund Division are
the responsible offices for the issues discussed in this report.
In accordance with EPA Manual 2750, your office provided acceptable corrective actions and milestone
dates in response to the OIG recommendations. All recommendations are resolved and no final response
to this report is required. However, if you submit a response, it will be posted on the OIG's website,
along with our memorandum commenting on your response. Your response should be provided as an
Adobe PDF file that complies with the accessibility requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973, as amended. The final response should not contain data that you do not want to be released
to the public; if your response contains such data, you should identify the data for redaction or removal
along with corresponding justification.
We will post this report to our website at www.epa.gov/oig.

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Delayed Cleanup of Asbestos Debris at the
Old Davis Hospital Site Necessitates
Changes for EPA Region 4 and North Carolina
18-P-0271
Table of C
Purpose		1
Background		1
Responsible Offices		3
Scope and Methodology		3
Results		3
Region 4 Actions Adhered to Policy		3
North Carolina Followed Procedures but Cited a Lack of Authority
and Resources to Remediate the Site		4
EPA Region 4 Inquiry Found a Time-Critical Cleanup Was Necessary		4
Delay Resulted in Potential Public Health Risk at Site 		5
Recommendations		5
Agency Response and OIG Evaluation		5
Status of Recommendations and Potential Monetary Benefits		7
Appendices
A National Response System Flowchart		8
B Agency Response		9
C Distribution		10

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Purpose
Our objective was to determine whether U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) Region 4 and the state of North Carolina followed appropriate procedures
to address claims of an improper asbestos demolition at the Old Davis Hospital in
Statesville, North Carolina.
Background
The Old Davis Hospital site, also known as the Old Statesville Hospital, is a closed
and abandoned hospital complex that operated from the 1920s into the 1980s. In
October 2015, a caller contacted the National Response Center1 with a complaint
that the demolition of an old hospital was
causing "friable asbestos" to be emitted into the
atmosphere in dust form. In addition, a report
by the EPA Region 4's On-Scene Coordinator
(OSC) indicated the presence of friable
asbestos in debris2 piles generated by
demolition activities at the site. The site is in
close proximity to a residential community.
The National Response Center relayed the
complaint to EPA Region 4, which referred it to
the state of North Carolina for review, in
accordance with North Carolina's delegated
National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air
Pollutants (NESHAP) authority.
Debris pile with asbestos-containing material at the
Old Davis Hospital site, with a multi-family dwelling in
the background. (EPA photo)
North Carolina's Health Hazards Control Unit3 confirmed the presence of
asbestos at the site, indicating a violation of the NESHAP, A NESHAP violation
is an indication that persons at or near the site could potentially be exposed to
hazardous air pollutants, which may be a threat to their health.
Under the Asbestos NESHAP, specific work practices must be implemented to
control the release of asbestos fibers into the air to reduce the possibility that the
public will be exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos through demolitions.
When the asbestos is not removed prior to demolition, the approved method of
minimizing asbestos exposure to the air is to adequately wet the demolition debris4
1	The National Response Center is part of the federally established National Response System and is the designated
federal point of contact for reporting all oil, chemical, radiological, biological and etiological discharges into the
environment anywhere in the United States and its territories.
2	The term "debris" as used throughout the report refers to "asbestos-containing waste material."
3	The North Carolina Department of Health Hazards Control Unit is the state agency that implements the asbestos
program in North Carolina.
4	As applied to demolition operations, the term "asbestos-containing waste material" is quite broad. It includes any
waste containing commercial asbestos that is generated by a source subject to 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart M. It also
includes regulated asbestos-containing material waste and materials contaminated with asbestos, including
disposable equipment and clothing.
18-P-0271
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and seal it in a leak-tight container while awaiting transport to an approved landfill.
The Clean Air Act details fines and penalties for noncompliance with the Asbestos
NESHAP. The Asbestos NESHAP does not specifically address the removal of
asbestos debris when the Asbestos NESHAP is not followed.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA),
also known as "Superfund," authorizes broad
federal authority to respond to a release or
substantial threat of a release of any hazardous
substance or pollutant that may endanger public
health or the environment. The Superfund
Enforcement Program employs an
"Enforcement First" policy. A major
component of the policy is that potentially
responsible parties should conduct removal
actions whenever possible. However, the EPA
can fund a direct removal action of
contaminates from a site through Superfund to
protect human health, which is the course of
action the agency pursued at the Old Davis
Hospital. Accordingly, EPA Region 4 began a time-critical cleanup of asbestos
debris at the hospital in June 2016. According to the final OSC report, site
demobilization and cleanup were completed in September 2016. The cost of the
cleanup totaled $1.4 million. The Federal Remediation Branch within North
Carolina's Division of Waste Management works cooperatively with the EPA to
implement the federal Superfund Program under CERCLA through its Federal
Remediation Branch of the Superfund Section. The Superfund Section helps the
EPA to apply resources on sites with severe contamination and on those needing
immediate emergency actions.
Figure 1 outlines the responsibilities of the responsible party, the National
Response Center and EPA regional OSCs when a release or spill occurs;
Appendix A provides a more detailed flowchart.
Figure 1: Designated responsibilities under the National Response System flowchart when a
spill or release occurs
The Old Davis Hospital as of June 2,
2016. (EPA photo)
1.
When a release or spill of oil or a regulated hazardous material occurs, the organization
responsible for the release or spill is required by law to notify the National Response Center.
2.
Once a report is made, the National Response Center immediately notifies a designated federal
OSC in the impacted region as well as tribal, local and state emergency personnel.
3.
The federal OSC coordinates with the state, other personnel on site, and the potentially
responsible party to determine the status of the response.
4.
The federal OSC determines whether, or how much, federal involvement is necessary and deploys
the needed resources.
Source; National Response System flowchart (see Appendix A).
18-P-0271

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Responsible Offices
In EPA Region 4, the Air, Pesticides, and Toxics Management Division and the
Superfund Division are the responsible offices for the issues discussed in this report.
Scope and Methodology
We conducted this performance audit from March 2017 to May 2018 in accordance
with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require
that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to
provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit
objective. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objective.
To perform our work, we interviewed personnel and obtained information from
the EPA Region 4's Air, Pesticides, and Toxics Management Division and the
Superfund Division. We also interviewed personnel and obtained information
from the North Carolina Health Hazards Control Unit regarding the actions taken
in response to the demolition at the Old Davis Hospital. Further, we obtained and
reviewed CERCLA, which provides federal authority for responding to releases
and potential releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or
the environment. We also reviewed the Asbestos NESHAP, which establishes the
specific work practices to be employed by owners, operators, contractors and
service providers when conducting demolition and renovations of asbestos-
containing structures.
Results
EPA Region 4 followed prescribed National Response Center procedures when it
referred what was described as a potentially improper demolition and NESHAP
violation to the state of North Carolina to address. North Carolina also followed its
procedures in addressing the demolition. However, it took over 7 months for time-
critical removal of asbestos debris at the Old Davis Hospital to start. The delay
occurred because North Carolina officials said they did not have the authority or
resources to conduct mitigation actions, and did not fully understand the extent to
which the EPA could assist. As a result, due to the state's lack of action,
individuals near the demolition site were at risk of asbestos exposure.
Region 4 Actions Adhered to Policy
EPA Region 4 followed its procedures when it referred the National Response
Center report to the state of North Carolina in October 2015 for review. The
National Response Center report alleged that asbestos (a known hazardous
material) was released. However, the actual amount potentially released, if any,
was unknown when Region 4 referred the incident to North Carolina to be
18-P-0271
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addressed. In addition to facilitating incident referrals, the task of determining the
appropriate federal response and resources are determined by the Region 4 OSC.
In October 2015, the state of North Carolina collected samples from the Old
Davis Hospital site suspected of having asbestos-containing material. Of the
53 samples collected, 21 were confirmed to contain asbestos. After the North
Carolina Health Hazards Control Unit's confirmation of asbestos at the site, EPA
Region 4 was informed that the state's findings exceeded NESHAP thresholds,
thereby constituting a NESHAP violation. However, according to EPA Region 4,
a referral for a Superfund Removal Site Evaluation was not initiated at that time
because North Carolina chose to follow its own enforcement process to address
the issue. We found no other evidence of communication between the parties on
this issue until May 2016.
North Carolina Followed Procedures but Cited a Lack of Authority
and Resources to Remediate the Site
Using its NESHAP authority over a 7-month
period, North Carolina was in regular
communication with the property owner
regarding the cleanup of debris at the Old
Davis Hospital site. North Carolina officials
said that the property owner declined to clean
up the site despite an estimated $20,000 in
fines being levied. EPA Region 4 officials
provided documentation showing that the site
cleanup costs totaled $1.4 million, which is
substantially more than the fines.
North Carolina officials told us the state did
not have statutory mitigation authority or the
resources to clean up the site, and did not
fully understand the extent to which the EPA
could use its CERCLA authority. North Carolina officials cited these factors as
reasons for the delay in remediating the site. The North Carolina Division of
Waste Management works cooperatively with the EPA to implement CERCLA.
However, North Carolina and EPA Region 4 do not have a policy requiring the
state personnel to confirm the validity of a complaint with the EPA. Additionally,
we found that EPA Region 4 and North Carolina did not have a policy where the
state would inform the EPA that it lacked the authority and resources to address
an Asbestos NESHAP violation.
EPA Region 4 Inquiry Found a Time-Critical Cleanup Was Necessary
In May 2016, EPA Region 4 requested more information regarding the Old Davis
Hospital demolition from North Carolina. The OIG inquiry was based on press
Eastern side of the Old Davis Hospital site cleared of
debris, as of July 26, 2016. (EPA photo)
18-P-0271
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reports that seemed to indicate that an improper demolition had occurred and that
the public may be facing prolonged exposure to asbestos. Upon receiving
additional information, EPA Region 4 determined that the violation prompted a
time-critical cleanup using its CERCLA authority.
Delay Resulted in Potential Public Health Risk at Site
The asbestos debris at the Old Davis Hospital site was known to be an Asbestos
NESHAP violation as early as October 2015. The Asbestos NESHAP requires the
property owner or contractor to appropriately conduct the cleanup. Enforcement
of this requirement was the responsibility of North Carolina, as it was delegated
Asbestos NESHAP authority. However, the state could not compel the property
owner to take action. North Carolina officials said that the local fire department
may have kept the debris wet but they have no records of these actions. EPA
Region 4 personnel said they found no evidence of wetting at the site. Therefore,
there is no evidence that the asbestos debris was kept wet as required. The public
was not informed of the potential danger from the site until June 2016. On June 7,
2016, the site owner allowed the EPA to secure the site with fencing, signage and
security as necessary.
EPA Region 4 said that the potential exposure and health consequences cannot be
determined. To address public concerns, the EPA assigned a community
involvement coordinator to the site, provided fact sheets in response to residents'
questions, and provided local government officials with pollution and sampling
reports for the site.
Recommendations
We recommend that the Regional Administrator, EPA Region 4:
1.	In coordination with appropriate North Carolina state officials, document
clarification of the existing National Emission Standards for Hazardous
Air Pollutants authorities.
2.	Implement internal controls to verify North Carolina's enforcement
of work practices under the Asbestos National Emission Standards for
Hazardous Air Pollutants at demolition and renovation sites, specifically
in regard to keeping asbestos-containing debris wet until it can be
transported to an approved landfill.
Agency Response and OIG Evaluation
On August 3, 2018 the Region 4 Regional Administrator provided a response to
our report, and we obtained additional clarification by email on August 6, 2018.
Based on the communication, the EPA agreed to the following:
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	For Recommendation 1, the corrective action is to meet with the state and
produce documentation that will clarify the existing NESHAP authorities.
It was the region's intent to complete the corrective action by August 30,
2018.
	For Recommendation 2, the corrective action is to implement and
document the controls to verify enforcement of NESHAP work practices
by August 30, 2018.
Therefore, the recommendations are resolved with verification of completed
corrective actions pending.
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Status of Recommendations and
Potential Monetary Benefits
RECOMMENDATIONS
Rec.
No.
Page
No.
Subject
Status1
Action Official
Planned
Completion
Date
Potential
Monetary
Benefits
(in $000s)
1
5
In coordination with appropriate North Carolina state officials,
document clarification of the existing National Emission
Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants authorities.
R
Regional Administrator,
EPA Region 4,
8/30/18

2
5
Implement internal controls to verify North Carolina's
enforcement of work practices under the Asbestos National
Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants at demolition
R
Regional Administrator,
EPA Region 4
8/30/18

and renovation sites, specifically in regard to keeping asbestos-
containing debris wet until it can be transported to an approved
landfill.
1 C = Corrective action completed.
R = Recommendation resolved with verification of completed corrective action pending.
U = Recommendation unresolved with resolution efforts in progress.
18-P-0271
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Appendix A
National Response System Flowchart
Incident
Occurs
National
Response
Center
On-Scene
Coordinator/
Remedial Project
Manager
Natural
Resource
Trustees
Make Initial Assessment/
N Conduct First Response/
Notify Others t
State/Local
Government
Agencies/
Potentially
Responsible Party
Federal
Assistance
equired?
National
Response
Team
Regional
Response
Team
On-Scene Coordinator/
Remedial Project Manager
State and
Local
Government
Agencies
Potentially
Responsible
Party

Special Forces
EPA Environmental
Response Team
EPA Radiologial
Response Team

USCG District
Response Groups
USCG National
Pollution Funds
Center
USCG National
Strike Force
NOAA Scientific
Support
Coordinators
US Navy
Superintendent of
Salvage and Diving
Source: The EPA's National Response System website.
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Appendix B
Agency Response
UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
REGI0N4
ATLANTA FEDERAL CENTER
61 FORSYTH STREET
ATLANTA. GEORGIA 30303-8960
AUG 3 2018
Mr. Eric Lewis
Director
Office of Audit and Program
Evaluation Office of Inspector
General
1200 Pennsylvania
Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
Dear Mr. Lewis:
Thank you for the opportunity to review the report summarizing the findings of the Office of
Inspector General's investigation of the Old Davis Hospital (Project # OPE-FY17-0010; draft
dated May 16, 2018). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 concurs with the
findings and the final amended recommendations. The EPA Region 4 will coordinate with the
appropriate North Carolina environmental programs to develop and implement corrective
actions no later than August 30, 2018. Please let me know if you have any questions. You can
also address specific questions to Beverly H. Banister of the EPA Region 4 staff at
404-562-9326 or banister.beverly@epa.gov.
Internet Address (URL)  http/A/vww. epa.gov
Recycled/Recyclable - Printed with Vegetable Oil Based Inks on Recycled Paper(Minimum30% Postconsumer)
Sincerely,
//s//
Onis 'Trey" Glenn, III
Regional Administrator
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Distribution
The Administrator
Deputy Administrator
Chief of Staff
Chief of Operations
Special Advisor, Office of the Administrator
Agency Follow-Up Official (the CFO)
Agency Follow-Up Coordinator
General Counsel
Associate Administrator for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations
Associate Administrator for Public Affairs
Director, Office of Continuous Improvement, Office of the Administrator
Regional Administrator, Region 4
Deputy Regional Administrator, Region 4
Director, Air, Pesticides, and Toxics Management Division, Region 4
Director, Superfund Division, Region 4
Audit Follow-Up Coordinator, Office of the Administrator
Audit Follow-Up Coordinator, Region 4
18-P-0271

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